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Callebaut’s Claim for Healthy Chocolate Wins European Approval

Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Barry Callebaut AG will be able to label chocolate as good for the heart after European Union regulators agreed to approve a claim that some of its ingredients can help the elasticity of blood vessels.

“The health claim on cocoa flavanols can be used, in principle, exclusively by Barry Callebaut Belgium NV, for a period of five years,” said Frederic Vincent, a spokesman for the European Commission in an e-mailed statement today. The company must refer to the “maintenance of the elasticity of blood vessels” in the claim, he said.

Vincent said the European Commission, the regulator for the 27-nation bloc, will make a final decision to approve Callebaut’s claim in March.

Zurich-based Callebaut, which supplies chocolate to Nestle SA and Hershey Co., declined to immediately comment, saying it wasn’t aware of the EU decision. The company said last year that it saw considerable market potential in EU approval for a claim that consuming cocoa flavanols positively influences blood circulation in the human body. Companies can’t make claims on their packaging citing research that shows health benefits from food and drinks without receiving EU approval.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net.

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