The European Food Safety Authority has ruled that cocoa powder and dark chocolate can help people improve blood circulation.
Barry Callebaut, the world's largest maker of chocolate products, said on Tuesday it had provided evidence to EFSA that eating 10 grammes of dark chocolate or its equivalent in cocoa that were high in flavanols, helped blood flow.
The company said that if the European Commission confirms the EFSA ruling, the company and its customers would have the right to use the claim on packaging for products such as chocolate drinks, cereal bars and biscuits.
Barry Callebaut told the EFSA that it used a special process to make cocoa products that maintains the flavanols.
In an opinion posted on the EFSA website, a scientific panel concluded that a cause and effect relationship had been established between the consumption of cocoa flavanols and the maintenance of normal vasodilation, which aids blood flow.