MCLEAN, Va., USA – Mars Edge, a segment of Mars, Incorporated dedicated to nutrition research and products, announced that AOAC INTERNATIONAL, the globally recognized standards resource for analytical scientists and regulators, has designated the first AOAC Official Method of AnalysisSM for measuring and reporting cocoa flavanols, AOAC 2020.05. This method has achieved Final Action status and is the first method for flavanol analysis to receive this recognition.
AOAC 2020.05 in Final Action status presents a reliable, transferable, and accessible way to measure and quantify cocoa-derived flavanols and procyanidins in a range of commercially available cocoa products including cocoa powder, chocolate, and cocoa extract. This accomplishment, led by Mars Edge scientists, was enabled by cross-sector collaboration involving commercial testing laboratories, Eurofins Scientific, and AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The method is approved for seven food products including chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa liquor, and cocoa extract.
Flavanols and procyanidins are bioactive compounds found in many foods and drinks including apples, cranberries, and teas, but are particularly abundant in cocoa beans. A growing body of evidence continues to emerge on the health benefits of cocoa flavanols, specifically the benefits to cardiovascular health and cognition.
Ugo Bussy, Ph.D., Principal Scientist at Mars Wrigley and previously Head Scientist of Mars Edge said: “This is a defining moment for the botanical bioactive analytics field and reflects the long-term dedication of Mars, on the development of analytical methods for the characterization of bioactives in cocoa. Both the scientific community and consumers will benefit from consistency in reporting and labeling, as the interest in the health benefits of these compounds continues to grow.”
The official method for cocoa flavanol analysis, AOAC 2020.05, Cocoa Flavanols and Procyanidins [by Degree of Polymerization (DP) 1–7] in Cocoa-Based Products is published in the Official Method of Analysis of AOAC INTERNATIONAL (OMA) Online.
Hong You, Ph.D., Director of Scientific Affairs at Eurofins US Food, said: “Eurofins is pleased to have contributed to the development and multi-laboratory validation of this method, as we have a long-standing investment into quality testing of botanical bioactives. We are proud to share this accomplishment with Mars Edge.”