Barry Callebaut has launched ruby chocolate, claiming it is the fourth type after dark, milk and white.

Made from the ruby cocoa bean, ruby chocolate is described as having an intense taste and characteristic reddish colour.

“The fourth type in chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness,” according to the supplier.

The ruby bean is unique, said Callebaut, as it offers natural berry tastes and colour, and no colour or berry flavour has been added to the chocolate.

The global chocolate supplier added that it had taken years of work at its R&D centres and Germany’s Jacobs University to develop a process to unlock the colour and flavour from the beans, which are sourced from different regions around the world.

Callebaut added it expected that ruby, like dark, milk and white chocolate, would be introduced in different product categories.

But, while suggesting ruby chocolate can be used in a wide range of applications including moulding and as an ice cream coating, Barry Callebaut said bakery applications are not recommended as colour would be lost, and that mixing ruby chocolate with cream would also result in colour loss.

“We’re looking forward to working with our partners on introducing this innovative breakthrough to the market and making the new ruby chocolate category available to chocolate manufacturers and consumers around the world,” said Barry Callebaut chief innovation and quality officer Peter Boone.

He added that consumer research suggested high purchase intent for ruby chocolate at a variety of price points.

Ruby chocolate was revealed at an exclusive launch event in Shanghai, China, today (5 September).