This case study was originally published by Barry Callebaut and was written by Felicity Wild
We teamed up with MassChallenge participant Bloom Biorenewables Ltd to investigate how side streams from chocolate manufacturing processes could support the fight against climate change and help us to become carbon positive by 2025.
After our engagement in MassChallenge Switzerland 2020 – a global startup accelerator for innovators working to solve big challenges – we decided to set out on a promising journey with Bloom Biorenewables Ltd.
Bloom, a small organization of scientists founded by the two chemists Dr. Remy Buser and Dr. Florent Héroguel from the EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne), is dedicated to establishing biomass as a mainstream alternative to fossil materials in order to mitigate climate change. Their technology converts plant material – which is rich in carbon captured from the atmosphere while growing – into molecules that replace current fossil solutions and have a wide range of uses.
“Plants will undoubtedly play a major role in replacing fossil resources. Agricultural and forestry industries already produce large quantities of sustainable carbon feedstocks, but a large volume of this material is discarded and released back into the atmosphere, when it could be stored and reutilized.”
– Remy Buser, CEO & co-founder of Bloom Biorenewables Ltd
Converting chocolate production side streams into useful resources
As the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products we were electrified by this idea and joined forces with Bloom to investigate the potential for converting our chocolate and cocoa production side streams into reusable material.
Together with La Morella Nuts, our global specialty nut brand, Bloom discovered that hazelnuts shells have promising biomass potential: thanks to a groundbreaking process, nutshells can be efficiently converted into flavoring agents, such as vanillin – the main element in vanilla flavoring – which can be used in chocolate. For us at Barry Callebaut, this represents an exciting opportunity to “close the loop” in chocolate production. And transforming nutshells into vanillin is only the first of many possibilities that will be evaluated together with Bloom.
“Turning waste streams from our production processes into valuable ingredients is a unique story that resonates loudly with our Forever Chocolate sustainability program, and especially with our target to be carbon positive by 2025.”
– Massimo Selmo, Global Head of Sourcing at Barry Callebaut
Joining forces to build sustainable supply chains
At Barry Callebaut, we are always interested in innovative initiatives to scale and drive impact around Forever Chocolate, our plan to make sustainable chocolate the norm. As a founding partner of MassChallenge Switzerland, Barry Callebaut continues to build its track record of collaborating with high-impact startups to tackle big challenges. Together we explore, test, advance and champion ideas with the potential to support us on our journey towards a sustainable cocoa and chocolate supply chain.
Connecting the dots with high impact startups
MassChallenge is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting global innovation and entrepreneurship through collaboration and development. Since 2016, MassChallenge Switzerland has helped to connect startups across multiple industries with the resources, partnerships, and communities they need to successfully launch, grow and scale. Barry Callebaut is a founding partner of MassChallenge Switzerland.