Chocolate industry - Using carob pods to create a healthier chocolate alternative.

June 11, 2024

CAMPIONE project develops healthier chocolate substitute from carob pods.

Wageningen, The Netherlands – May 16, 2024 – The CAMPIONE project, funded by TKI Agri & Food, The Netherlands, is set to advance the chocolate industry by using carob pods to create a healthier chocolate alternative. This initiative is a collaboration between the Netherlands and Lebanon, aiming to harness the potential of carob pods and pave the way for new, health-conscious applications in the chocolate industry and carob farming. Carob has been a part of Lebanon’s agricultural heritage since ancient Phoenician times.

CAMPIONE's approach includes exploring processes, implementing a biorefinery concept, adopting circularity practices, conducting thorough product studies, and application testing. The impacts of CAMPIONE include market expansion with a new chocolate substitute, health benefits for consumers due to carob’s cholesterol-free, gluten-free, caffeine-free, and low-fat properties, and agricultural advancements for farmers with increased crop value and diversified sales. Scientifically, the project will uncover new insights about carob pods, guiding future applications.

CAMPIONE unites experts in biorefinery development, chocolate application development, and cutting-edge technology, with international and regional dissemination efforts supported by extensive networks. The project is organized into three pillars across four work packages: coordinating partner efforts, pre-treatment of carob pods, characterizing carob seeds, and evaluating potential new applications.

The project will adapt processing techniques to carob pods by considering the uniqueness of their properties and physiological characteristics. Each step will undergo detailed analysis to assess efficiency and identify necessary adjustments, essential for validating the process and estimating potential applications. Chocolate quality tests will be conducted on carob-derived ingredients, comparing flavor profiles to traditional cocoa samples to ensure high-quality products.

About CAMPIONE Consortium

The CAMPIONE Consortium is a collaborative initiative of eight European and Lebanese companies, technology developers, research organizations, and non-profit organizationsdedicated to advancing sustainable and innovative solutions in the chocolate industry by utilizing the unique properties of carob pods.

For further information, please contact: 

Dr. Maarten Kootstra (, Project manager

Dr. Carl Safi (, Project coodinator

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