100% Cacao-Free Chocolate for Planet & People's Health
Vita developed a biotechnology for mass production of cocoa butter, liqueur and powder substitutes, rethinking chocolate as sustainable, healthy, and conflict-free.
Cacao trees grow in tropical countries, where the growing global demand for cacao over the past few decades has led to massive tropical deforestation, making room for cacao plantations. Yes, humanity has been losing tropical forests that store more carbon per unit area than any other ecosystem in the world to supply more cacao around the world. But that's not all. It takes 34,000 liters of water to produce 1 kg (2.2 lb) of cocoa butter, 24,000 liters of water to produce 1 kg (2.2 lb) of cocoa mass, and 17,196 liters of water to produce 1 kg (2.2 lb) of chocolate. That's more than the amount of water (15,400 liters) needed to produce 1 kg (2.2 lb) of beef. Moreover, cacao farming has led to soil contamination, labor exploitation, and child trafficking, among other issues.
Scientists expect that over the next decade the West African countries where currently 70% of the world's cacao is produced will become too hot and dry to adequately produce cacao. Therefore, at Vita we turned to nature to find innovative processes for producing alternatives to cacao-based chocolate. This allowed us to develop a precision fermentation technology that turns agri-food industry waste like fruit peels and other parts into high-quality substitutes for cacao products such as cacao butter, powder, and chocolate.
Last but not least, modern chocolate has largely become a vector of processed sugar and unhealthy fats, contributing to public health issues such as the growth of diabetes and obesity, among others. At Vita, we went on to rethink chocolate as a health-promoting food, enabling many more people to enjoy chocolate by giving them positive health effects only and by getting rid of the negative impact of the previous generation of chocolate. Thus, in addition to reproducing various cacao flavors and aromas from an unprecedented food matrix, our technology made it possible to produce naturally sweet cacao products at different levels of sweetness, with zero processed sugar. It also reduced unhealthy fats to zero, substituting them with healthy fats only. And it allowed to bring healthy functions to cacao-based products, such as probiotic-driven functions.