In Colombia, scientists at the Industrial University of Santander are creating new products like beer, juice, desserts and nutraceuticals from cacao beans waste material. The Nextcoa project’s purpose is to create new cocoa flavors (characteristic of the region) and produce biomaterials for the specialized industry and advanced materials for the food industry, as well as liquor, cocoa, cocoa butter and toppings.
Through the project, they hope to strengthen the value chain of cocoa, so that the communities that produce the grain obtain a greater profit from a business that currently benefits, to a greater extent, a few chocolate specialized manufacturers in the world. They also want to link the public university-in this case the Universidad Industrial de Santander (UIS) -to rural development processes that contribute to the boost of the economy and the welfare of the people. And to generate patents, transfer knowledge and make innovation the tool to overcome the barriers that hinder economic development in countries like Colombia and others around the world.