Birmingham, UK — Kraft Foods UK R&D Ltd. has filed a patent application for the production of black cocoa powder, used in Oreos, with alkalizing salt in the absence of iron, which is not approved for use in certain countries, Kraft reports in its Patent Cooperation Treaty application.
The application reads: “The alkalization in general is employed for several purposes. On the one hand, it produces a broad variety of differently colored cocoa powders for specific applications. On the other hand, it increases the pH of the product, rendering it more soluble in an aqueous surrounding, which is important if the product is dispersed, e.g., in a beverage. Finally, the alkalization may improve the flavor of the final cocoa.”
Kraft reports the mixture of iron saccharate and ammonium carbonate, which is used in current alkalization processes, presents a number of challenges to both the personal safety of those producing the powder and environmental safety as a result of the liberation of ammonia gas during the process.
The patent application calls for the use of ammonium carbonate as an alkalizing salt; however, in some embodiments, the alkalizing salt does not contain ammonium carbonate, and instead uses potassium salts or sodium hydroxide.