Finding nut free chocolate can be a bit of a challenge. Factor in multiple allergies, the hunt becomes harder still. While there are dairy free and nut free brands out there, what if you’re avoiding nuts, dairy, egg, gluten … and soya? Now, there’s a challenge.
Step forward iQ Chocolate…
iQ Chocolate is “free from all 14 allergens, including nuts, gluten, soya, dairy, and refined cane sugar… and made in a nut free environment”.
When I asked about their approach to “may contains”, co-founder Jane told me “iQ chocolate is free from traces of allergens. The top 14 allergens are not allowed anywhere in the factory. We don’t use any lecithins – a tricky thing to do – but we managed to find a way that we could replace emulsifiers with cocoa butter. So, in our plain dark chocolate there are just 3 ingredients – cocoa beans, cocoa butter and coconut blossom sugar”.
Here iQ Chocolate founders Jane and Kate share the iQ Chocolate story…
BEYOND RAW – iQ Chocolate
Woody Allen said “You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.”
We, Jane and Kate (founders of iQ Chocolate), want to live for a very long time AND enjoy the journey.
When we first heard that chocolate could be healthy, we were in a very corporate world of people and management development, with a desire to do something that makes much more of a difference to health and wellbeing. One very ordinary day, munching our way through a bag of cocoa nibs, we asked the most obvious question – Why is it that such golden nuggets of nutritional benefit have lost their soul and become demonised? One of the world’s most nutritionally dense foods, in its natural state, had somehow become bent out of shape, and was now seen as partly responsible for the obesity and diabetes crisis, currently plaguing the developed world.
This question became something of an obsession.
Firstly, we discovered that all beans are not the same. There were some fascinating stories coming out of the cocoa farming world – from the group of women who had started a cocoa plant nursery, growing and selling young cocoa trees to farmers – to the farmers themselves, being re-educated in the lost skill of cocoa farming.
We tried and tested various beans, with the help of the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health at Aberdeen University. At the same time, we were wrestling with the art and science of making chocolate from the bean. Start up gear was a hair dryer, colander, tin dustbin lid and a washing machine, set at 1400 revs. We got there, in the end, and became Scotland’s first bean to bar chocolate maker.
Just as we were entering the market, the EU food regulations were also changing. With a much needed EFSA clamp down (to protect the consumer) on overstated health claims, we knew this was in our favour. Terms like Superfood were now being regulated. This was also in our favour. With over 20 Health Claims, iQ Superfood Chocolate passed with flying colours.
We thought that everyone would get what we were trying to do. The reaction to – “Would you like to try some healthy chocolate?” – to our dismay – was often met with sceptical laughter.
However, the tide has turned! Customers finally really “get” what we were trying to do.
Now, with the Free From trend gaining momentum, and the growing concerns regarding other health related conditions, such as diabetes, iQ Chocolate has finally come into its own.
iQ Superfood is Free From all 14 allergens – including nuts – and refined cane sugar.
There is more ….
In addition to the current health benefits, being raw, organic, vegan, Free from all 14 allergens and low GI, we know there is much more to be revealed about iQ Chocolate.
Ongoing studies with Queen Margaret University, including the positive impact of iQ on sporting performance, and the impact (a positive one!) on cognitive decline in old age, are really important to our customers (and, on a personal level too!)
Watch this space!