Global food giant Nestlé claims it has invented the first 70% dark chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit.

The Switzerland-based group said it is using the beans and pulp of the cocoa fruit as the only ingredients and therefore not adding any refined sugar. It has patented the innovation.

Nestlé plans to introduce the first product in Japan in the autumn through its KitKat Chocolatory arm. 

Its launch product is KitKat Chocolatory Cacao Fruit Chocolate, which will be sold at its Chocolatory stores and via online channels.

Further products in other countries will follow next year through some of Nestlé’s most popular confectionery brands.

The company said it has developed “a natural approach”, which allows it to extract the pulp and use it in chocolate and claims there is “no compromise on taste, texture and quality”.

Until now chocolate has been made with the addition of refined sugars. 

Patrice Bula, head of strategic business units, marketing and sales at Nestlé, said: “We’re proud to bring chocolate lovers a new chocolate made entirely from the cocoa fruit without adding refined sugar. This is a real innovation which uses the natural sweetness of the cocoa pulp to provide a pure, novel chocolate experience.”

The cocoa pulp surrounds the beans in cocoa fruit. “Some of the pulp is used in the fermentation of the cocoa beans after they are harvested, but a significant proportion is usually removed and the value is lost. Until now it has not been used as an ingredient to naturally sweeten chocolate,” Nestlé said.

Nestlé was the first to bring Ruby chocolate to market in 2018 with KitKat. That too was initially sold in Japan.