De Villiers Chocolate’s new no added sugar offering is now available. We get the lowdown on this new product.
Research indicates that indulgent purchases in comfort food, like chocolate, have increased during lockdown, and now De Villiers Chocolate, one of Africa’s first bean-to-bar chocolate brands, is making it even easier to find comfort.
At a time when consumers can all do with some guilt-free pleasure in their lives, this proudly South African chocolate brand has made one of the world’s most craved foods more accessible, by not adding sugar, dairy or gluten.
Years of experimentation
After years of experimentation on no added sugar options, De Villiers Chocolate is now officially the first South African chocolate brand to develop a wholly plant-based, keto, and Internationally Vegan Certified chocolate bar. The most unconventional bar in the De Villiers Chocolate range to date.
“We have been trying to perfect a no added sugar De Villiers Chocolate option for several years, but we couldn’t get it quite right. While there are many no added sugar chocolates on the market catering to health-conscious consumers, people with diabetes and those following the ketogenic and low-carb diets, most of the available options are a cheerless substitute for the real deal. The most common downsides one usually associates with these products is the unpleasant aftertaste left by many of the sugar replacers, as well as unwanted gastrointestinal side effects. Then there is also the undesirable spiking of blood glucose levels,” says Master Chocolate Maker and owner, Pieter de Villiers.
Giving the consumers what they want
De Villiers Chocolate makes all its chocolate and inclusions in its factory just outside Paarl, near Cape Town. Their chocolate is made using cocoa beans sourced sustainably from farmers in Western Uganda. The bars are recognised by their colourful labels and loved by consumers for their moreish taste. Though many have been hoping for an option that is equally indulgent, but less ‘sinful’.
De Villiers Chocolate no added sugar range
Having worked tirelessly during South Africa’s lockdown period to perfect a no added sugar chocolate range, this chocolate brand is now ready to spill the (cocoa) beans, and share the joy.
“In our mission to develop a wholesome chocolate range, we refused to compromise on the flavour and texture of our bars,” says Pieter. “After extensive research, we finally landed on the right combination of ingredients to use in our no added sugar range, without compromising on flavour or wholesomeness.”
The secret? A curated blend of erythritol, monk fruit and soluble corn fibre; ingredients which have been carefully selected for their unique ability to mimic the sensory profile of sugar without causing any unwanted side effects. Without any milk or grain content, these bars are also suitable for lactose and gluten intolerant chocolate lovers.
To ensure that consumers can rely on these bars to be as good as they taste, De Villiers Chocolate worked with research consultant, Dr Lindie Schloms, who performed research on sugar alternatives to help the brand develop this diabetic- and keto- friendly chocolate range.
For Dr Lindie Schloms, it’s all about the development of healthier products by including antioxidant-rich superfoods, botanicals and adaptogens and reducing harmful ingredients, such as gluten and sugar.
Consumers will also appreciate that these bars carry International Vegan Certification, are Keto Certified and registered with the Rainforest Alliance in support of a mandate to do no harm and to ensure a better future for the planet and its people.
Spoilt for choice
Further cause for celebration is that consumers are spoilt for choice too, with Dark Chocolate and Nut Butter options. Chocolate enthusiasts can take their pick from 70% Dark Chocolate or Salt and Seed Dark Chocolate, as well as a range of nut-butter chocolate bars made entirely from scratch, using ingredients prepared and made in the De Villiers Chocolate kitchen. These include Sea Salt and Caramel Nut Butter, Chocolate Cookie Nut Butter (yes, also gluten free!), Almond Pieces Nut Butter, Cashew Nut Butter, Hazelnut Nut Butter and Coconut Nut Butter.
What makes De Villiers Chocolate’s no added sugar options different than other brands?
While there are several no added sugar chocolates on the market to cater for health-conscious consumers, people with diabetes and those following the ketogenic diet, most of the available options are not nearly as palatable as one would like. They often leave a bitter aftertaste, include ingredients other than sugar that still cause blood glucose levels to spike, or cause unwanted gastrointestinal side effects.
Since De Villiers Chocolate didn’t want to settle for any of that, extensive research was done to find the right combination of ingredients to use in the no added suagr range, to tick all the boxes without compromising on taste.
The brand-new range is not only keto certified, but also vegan and sweetened with a curated blend of erythritol, monk fruit and soluble corn fibre. What is erythritol?
Erythritol is a sugar alcohol (polyol) that occurs naturally in fruits, such as melons, grapes and pears. It’s 70% as sweet as sugar, contains almost no calories (0 to 0,24 kcal/g) and has a zero glycaemic index.
Erythritol is considered to be one of the best sugar substitutes for people with diabetes and those on the ketogenic diet since it doesn’t increase blood glucose levels at doses of 20-64g. De Villiers chocolates contain only 16g erythritol per 80g bar.
How does erythritol differ from other sugar alcohols?
Erythritol is well-tolerated. It has the highest digestive tolerance of all the sugar alcohols, and long-term consumption of high amounts of erythritol hasn’t been associated with any serious side effects.
Unlike other sugar alcohols, which are fermented by bacteria in the colon and produce gas as a by-product, ± 90% of ingested erythritol is absorbed into the bloodstream before it reaches the colon. Since humans don’t have the enzymes required to break it down, erythritol can’t be metabolised and is excreted completely unchanged in the urine. The remaining 10% of erythritol, which is not absorbed into the bloodstream, travels undigested and unfermented through the colon.
The new range contains a variety of nuts, all boasting major health benefits. In other words, guilt-free chocolate?
Nuts are great for people with diabetes since they are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats, fibre, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Nuts, such as almonds, have also been shown to increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the rise in blood glucose levels after meals.
Almonds are one of the best dietary sources of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant which helps to support immune-, heart- and skin health, while cashews have been linked to benefits like weight loss, improved blood glucose control and heart health.
Did you know that hazelnuts, for example, provide significant amounts of antioxidants protecting the body from oxidative stress?
To purchase this no added sugar chocolate, visit the De Villers Chocolate online store