New chocolate bar healthy for your heart, claims manufacturer

By Karen Willmer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Chocolate, Nutrition, Diabetes mellitus

In a bid to take advantage of the boom in demand for fortified
chocolates, a manufacturer claims to have developed a product
that benefits those with Type-2 diabetes or high cholesterol.

Developed by Innovative Life Sciences, the Heart Chocolate contains an ingredient called CM-X, a combination of cinnamon and bitter melon, which the company claims can lower blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Food manufacturers are continually looking to build on the demand for low fat and low calorie foods, a market that is currently showing strong growth worldwide following obesity concerns. "Heart Chocolate with CM-X is a great-tasting, low-calorie, chocolate bar, and is the only chocolate bar equipped with CM-X, an ingredient scientifically and clinically proven to lower blood sugar and high cholesterol, act as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant," ​claimed Innovative. The company said the product is particularly beneficial for people with Type-2 diabetes, as it contains no sugar, as well as for those with high cholesterol. Innovative claims the cinnamon and bitter melon combination make it suitable for those with Type-2 diabetes and is the only sugar-free or low-calorie snack that offers this combination. "We have also funded our own clinical trial at theUniversityofGuelphto confirm, substantiate and broaden the beneficial properties of cinnamon and bitter melon in the treatment of diabetes, high cholesterol and other related cardiovascular conditions,"​ the company added. "Our study will have results in 2007 and we look forward to communicating our findings in 2008." ​Innovative said the health benefits of this chocolate with CM-X has been approved by Health Canada. The chocolate bar is divided into thirds of 60 calories each, designed to offer three times daily satisfaction for chocolate cravings. "Heart Chocolate with CM-X is designed to help one moderate their chocolate cravings by eliminating the difficulty of maintaining proper portion control,"​ the company added. The Heart Chocolate with CM-X was launched this week during the Toronto Film Festival in Canada. Sales of health and premium products are driving growth in the US chocolate market, offsetting poorer sales in other chocolate segments according to a report last month. "We expect that the trend towards high-end products, especially those touting wellness benefits, will be the life force in this market for the next several years,"​ said Tatjana Meerman, publisher of the report 'The US Market for Chocolate'. Overall chocolate sales are predicted to reach $18bn (€13.2bn) by 2011, up from $16bn (€11.7bn) in 2006, she said, helped by the market share for premium chocolate escalating from 13 per cent of the total market in 2002 to nearly 17 per cent in 2006. By 2011, premium chocolate will account for 25 per cent of the market, generating $4.5bn (€3.3bn) in sales, she added. The report concluded that the reason for this growth is the reported health benefits of dark chocolate, as well as a shift in consumer interest towards 'luxury' products, including organic and fair trade products.

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