The powder contains cocoa flavanols and lignins. Cocoa flavanol is a group of naturally derived polyphenols contained in cocoa beans and has been reported to lower blood pressure by improving blood flow.
Cocoa lignin is a naturally derived insoluble dietary fibre found in cocoa beans, and primarily acts in improving bowel movements
A spokesman for Morinaga Confectionery told NutraIngredients-Asia: “Each stick (12g) contains 30mg of flavanol and 1.5g of lignin.”
Stick up for cocoa
He said the “easy-to-carry stick packaging makes it easy to drink whether you are out or in the office.”
He recommended a daily intake of one stick (12g). “As the product is FFC labelled and not food for specific health use (FOSHU), [consumers should] take care to observe the recommended daily intake.”
The target population are people with high blood pressure, concerned about their bowel movements, and those who prefer a low-sweetness cocoa.
The product will retail at around 400 yen, and comes in 60g (12g x 5 sticks).
The expected release date is September 20, and it will be available in convenience stores and station stores nationwide.
As of now, there are no plans to sell the products outside Japan.
There have been numerous studies on cocoa flavanols and its impact on blood pressure.
In a recent study published this year, supplementation of cocoa flavanol seemed to improve biomarkers of heart health, and boosted mobility in people over 55.
In another study this year, consuming dark chocolate containing flavanols was linked to improvement in vascular function.