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“20 Minuten” reports on the ZHAW’s laboratory-produced chocolate

For the first time, a research team including the biotechnologist Regine Eibl and food technologist Tilo Hühn has produced chocolate from a cell culture that was propagated in a bioreactor. On Easter Sunday, the news portal “20 Minuten” ran a report on the innovative chocolate project.

Cell cultures of plants and animals have been propagated in bioreactors at the ZHAW for a number of years. Such approaches are often used in the pharmaceuticals sector, for example during the production of vaccines or in the cosmetics industry.

Regine Eibl from the Institute of Chemistry and Biotechnology is a specialist in the field of cell culture technology. Together with the research team and Tilo Hühn from the Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation, she has now established a cell culture that delivers the polyphenols that are important in giving chocolate its flavour. This provides the benefit that the cells, which the researchers have succeeded in processing into chocolate, can be propagated as desired in the laboratory under controlled conditions.

Those wishing to try out the chocolate will have to be patient for a little time yet, however. While the product is also set to be available in stores, it won’t hit the shelves for around two years.

On Easter Sunday, the news portal “20 Minuten” reported (in German) on the first laboratory-produced chocolate.