Fuschia Chocolate: chocolate with beets and cranberries

Dany Marquis

Many people ask me what I think of Ruby chocolate. So.

Chocolate giants are often trendsetters spending millions on marketing campaigns. They influence consumers and sometimes it seems like they want to be the one to reinvent the wheel. In the world of chocolate, a certain conservatism remains through the use of a unique raw material, the cocoa bean. We are in tradition. And if innovation is common, as with Valrhona which released its blond chocolate a few years ago, and recently its milk-free strawberry chocolate (dehydrated strawberries, cocoa butter, sugar and soy lecithin), the multinational Barry is went even further recently with a daring innovation, a pale pink chocolate that they called ''Ruby''.

Barry Callebault says he has created the 4th variety of chocolate, after dark, milk and white .

But what it should rather say is that they invented a way to process cocoa beans from any origin, keeping them raw, without fermentation , and that they treat them with citric acids (a type of super strong lemon juice like to make a ceviche with cocoa beans) to finish by degreasing them with petroleum ether . And the result is as pink as a raw bean. It's a question of point of view but the dark side of this product is obscured by the well-orchestrated marketing of the multinational.

This is what a raw cocoa bean looks like, straight out of the pod, and cut in half. It is this color that Barry Callebault was able to preserve through a fairly complicated process.

Raw cocoa beans

Chaleur B Chocolate - Raw cocoa beans - Coagricsal, Copàn, Honduras, 2019

Barry Callebault's RUBY is therefore made from cocoa beans, provided they are raw, of any origin. They claim that it is a new variety of cocoa. However, the supposed Ruby variety never existed and is not recorded anywhere. However, the selected beans must have certain characteristics to be used in ruby ​​chocolate. A high phenolic content and a higher yield per hectare is sought. Varieties of cocoa like CCN51 are suitable for this product but we don't really know their origin. In short, CCN51 cocoa is a hybrid cocoa created to have a yield per hectare of approximately 4 times greater and which is very resistant to disease and temperature change. It's a bit like coffee with the robusta variety. And like robusta coffee, CCN51 cocoa is not known for its aromatic properties.

Where does the bean come from? No idea!

We can also say that we are at a higher level of “commoditization”, where even the country of origin no longer appears. Removing the added value of an origin is the best way to keep the prices given to producers at a minimum. We make the product anonymous.

Cocoa can come from anywhere and it will still taste the same. You don't accept the price I give you, we'll buy it elsewhere... Imagine the power of the buyer with the seller who remains completely anonymous.

In addition, it allows the cocoa buyer to eliminate the fermentation stage that is carried out at the producer, thus cutting into their work. The collected beans are therefore purchased even cheaper , because they do not require fermentation, drying, etc.

The work of the cocoa producer is reduced to a minimum.

Here again, we prevent the producer from creating value with a successful fermentation. We then push it into the category of primary agricultural producers, without the possibility of further processing.

And as I operate my workshop in the magnificent region of Gaspésie, a region in which I was born and raised, I learned that, from an economic point of view, exporting raw raw materials without further processing is a paved path to poverty.

Chaleur B Chocolat - Madagascar Ambanja, 2019, Photo by Jao Joel

In the case of Ruby chocolate, the raw cocoa bean, instead of being fermented to stop the germination process (because the cocoa bean is a seed intended to germinate to produce a tree) and to develop its aromas, is passed through a mysterious process consisting of resting the bean in baths of citric acid. (patents are public on the web)

This process kills the bean , stopping fermentation, and keeping the pink color of raw cocoa. A process would then be applied to separate the natural cocoa butter present in the bean with petroleum ether. The bean is then dried and ground into powder. This pink powder will be used to color a simple white chocolate, composed mainly of sugar and powdered milk.

A process which is similar to what we have already been doing since 2014 with the use of vegetables in our chocolates.

White chocolate can be very profitable, because sugar, for a multinational, must cost them around $0.30/kg... With powdered milk, it becomes a very profitable product.

We can also see the scientific orientation of the product and the openness to the numerous tax credits available for research and development (SR&ED).

I salute technological innovation, and companies that are moving in as yet unexplored directions. And I also understand the hellish ride of a public stock company that must constantly excite its shareholders.

And, I tasted the Ruby and I liked it.

I also have a lot of respect for Barry Callebault who is omnipresent in the field, helps to maintain the reputation of the chocolatier profession and who is in a way our #1 competitor . I am an athlete and I know that healthy competition forces us to surpass ourselves.

I also send my employees to the Chocolate Academy , and I am very grateful that they teach us their vision of chocolate and their culture.

In addition, my chocolate clients are demanding and it is companies like Barry Callebault that dictate certain rules and standards in the field. Thanks to Callebault, my team works hard to convince professionals to include us in their offer, alongside multinationals. And we are better in part because of them. Iron sharpens iron.

My downside about Ruby

My main opposition to a product like Ruby chocolate is that this product goes against some of my values ​​and those of my organization, Chaleur B Chocolat.

The equity aspect and win-win relationships with cocoa producers are difficult to reconcile with this type of product. By keeping the producer anonymous, by preventing him from making a second transformation of his crops with fermentation, we keep him in poverty by preventing him from adding value to his cocoa.

We also amplify the perception of chocolate as a commodity product, cheap, sweet, anonymous. Where does cocoa come from? Sugar? Milk? We do not know anything. Is it good? It's not bad, a little sour, fruity, it's interesting and can be used in confections and interesting flavor combinations.

My vision of chocolate is therefore in a diametrically opposed position to that of Barry Callebault.

And as a consumer, I appreciate knowing the origin of my food, and especially who is the one who allows me to consume the product thanks to their labor. Or? Who? How?

As a Gaspé resident, I know the importance for agricultural producers of being able to carry out a second processing of their harvest. A century of history has taught us that collectively, we were better off selling 2x4s than selling logs.

I therefore consider ruby ​​chocolate as a sign of Callebault's orientation towards an exacerbated search for profitability and an approach that keeps producers in the shadows. We are trying to make a big marketing effort to make us believe that it is natural, revolutionary, exceptional, etc. We can discuss it, but for me, it's none of that.

Ultimately, it remains a white chocolate with a pink powder that comes from dehydrated and defatted raw cocoa beans.

It's not that it's bad but I don't see the point in it as a consumer and even from the point of view of a chocolatier.

Here is my alternative, more in line with my values

If you want a white chocolate, pink in color, fruity and a little sour , I suggest you try our beet and cranberry chocolate that we have been making since 2014.

Made in our workshop from

  • natural and organic cocoa butter from the Dominican Republic
  • unfiltered organic cane sugar from Argentina
  • skimmed milk powder from Quebec
  • beets and dehydrated cranberries from Quebec .
The color is magnificent and the cranberry recalls the ''sour'' side of Ruby.

Raw cocoa bean Chaleur B Chocolate

We also have one made with strawberries from Quebec: a marriage between the north and the south, made 100% in our workshop, from refining to molding.

And if the subject interests you, I invite you to read the references below to learn more.

  • Sarah Young (September 5, 2017). "Scientists just invented a brand new flavor of chocolate". The Independent
  • Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (September 6, 2017). "'Ruby' becomes first new natural color of chocolate in over 80 years". The Guardian
  • Gordon, Clay (September 6, 2017). "And RUBY Makes Four - A New Flavor and Color Join the Chocolate Family". TheChocolateLife
  • Terenzi, Sharon (September 9, 2017). "All About That Ruby Chocolate Just Invented By Callebaut". The Chocolate Journalist.
  • Gilchrist, Karen (September 6, 2017). "Swiss confectioners invent a new kind of chocolate for the first time in 80 years". cnbc.com.
  • Nieburg, Oliver (September 14, 2017). "Ruby chocolate: New gem in confectionery crown or pink misfit?". Confectionery News.
  • Jacey Fortin (September 7, 2017). "Ruby Chocolate Wants a Place at the Table With Dark, Milk and White". The New York Times
  • "Nestle to launch ruby ​​chocolate KitKat in Asia". reuters.com


  • Bouyacha


    Je suis très déçu par cette “innovation”. J’ai trouvé l’arrivée du chocolat blond ou du chocolat fraise sans lait étaient de meilleurs trouvailles et plus honnêtes.

    Le problème pour moi ici c’est qu’on a juste un chocolat blanc aromatisé avec de la poudre de cacao rouge et crue, dégraissée en plus à l’éther de pétrole.ce n’est même pas un chocolat au lait mais un chocolat blanc aromatisé comme le chocolat au matcha.
    On ne trouve pas de chocolat rouge composé de beurre de cacao, de sucre et de cacao rose, voir de pâte de cacao rose sans dégraissage.
    Impossible pour les chocolatiers pro comme vous ou en herbe comme moi de trouver de la poudre de cacao rouge pour nos inventions gustatives, nous sommes obligé de prendre du chocolat blanc aromatisé.

    J’avais déjà fait un chocolat matcha sans lait et moins sucré que ce qu’on peut trouver, et j’avais trouvé ça meilleur, pouvant tester des matchas différents, autre que le standard matcha culinaire utilisé dans les chocolats vendus, avec des notes aromatiques différentes, des puissances différentes en boisson, que l’on retrouve dans ces carrés de matcha solide. Un peut comme on retrouve différents chocolats noirs ou au lait suivant sa destination.

    Un procédé limite pour utiliser leur cacao rouge coûteux en investissement mais inutilisable comme cacao standard ? On a déjà du chocolat cru pour avoir des notes plus fruitées. Ici on a voulu un produit avec une couleur originale, qui est certes celle du cacao cru non fermenté, mais on a cherché la couleur avant le goût alors que ça devrait être l’inverse la priorité.

    Et on a trouvé un nutritionniste pour dire que c’était le chocolat le plus sains pour le pourcentage des antioxydants compris dans ce cacao rouge. Mais c’est sans compter sur le peut de cacao rouge présent dans le produit finit et le taux de graisse et de sucre dedans. À peine plus sains qu’un chocolat blanc, voir moins si l’on compte l’éther de pétrole.

    Merci de respecter le travail de ceux qui nous offres des cacaos d’excellentes. Sans eux, pas de chocolat de qualité.

  • Marie-Noël

    On est totalement en accord avec toi Dany! On se bat bec et ongles depuis tellement longtemps pour faire reconnaître chaque étapes de fabrication, pour réapprendre aux gens à privilégier la qualité à la quantité, et ce sans pourtant négliger le goût!
    Pour ma part, en plus du côté humanitaire qui est totalement “bypasser”(ce qui n’est pas moins important à mes yeux ne vous méprenez pas), ce qui me fait frémir, c’est le côté chimique de la fabrication, alors qu’on tente le plus possible de réduire la liste d’ingrédients…J’en suis particulièrement déçu, alors qu’il y a tellement d’alternatives…
    Bref, on va plutôt continuer de faire la promotion de l’achat local, responsable et éclairé!

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