Chocolate has traditionally been seen as being something of an indulgence, but consumer demand for healthy alternatives has even stretched as far as this cocoa delight. As well as health, premium products are on the up, as is origin chocolate. So what new products are manufacturers and suppliers offering?Despite the seemingly indulgent nature of chocolate, it’s no stranger to healthier alternatives. Zurich-based cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer Barry Callebaut recently developed a range of ’rebalanced’ products that contain more dietary fibres, less sugar and less fat.The company’s developments focus on two areas – one purely on indulgence and the other on the combination of indulgence and health aspects. “Nowadays, more and more people accept the idea that chocolate and health can go together,” explains Ann Doeth, marketing manager. “This is a very different situation to three years ago.”In terms of new products, the company will be launching Croquoa at HIE (Health Ingredients Europe) 2008 in Paris in November. “It is a new extruded texture to give added value to products. It is made with cocoa and sugar and can be put in different applications such as tablets,” explains Doeth, who says the company will also be highlighting some of its recently-launched products, including ACTICOA, tooth-friendly chocolate and probiotic chocolate.As well as health, there is also a move towards more premium products – for example, origin chocolates. The company did a recent survey on what consumers eat, chocolate-wise and found that, in the UK, 21% already eat origin chocolate, second only to the USA.Barry Callebaut aims to present innovations in chocolate that also combine the pleasure effect because, as Doeth adds, “taste remains the most important thing”.== Origin chocolates ==Puratos provides chocolate ingredients to the bakery sector through Belgian chocolate manufacturer Belcolade. Its most recent development has been the extension of its Collection range, with three new origin chocolates from Uganda, Vanuatu and the Dominican Republic. “Since the beginning of the year, interest in the new origins has been overwhelming,” says Matt Crumpton, marketing manager.The three additions are: Noir Collection Uganda 80, with its high cocoa content; Lait Collection Vanuatu 44, which delivers a strong cocoa flavour with a hint of coffee and spice; and the Blanc Collection Dominican Republic 31, which has a lighter butter and milk flavour, with a hint of flowers and dried fruit.This year’s Speciality & Fine Food Fair in September saw the unveiling of a new range of Organic & Fairtrade Couverture by Josef Zotter, a producer from Austria, whose chocolate is distributed in the UK through Merchant Europe. The range consists of 11 varieties, which increase in cocoa content, up to 100%, and have Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Nicaraguan or Dominican roots. Varieties include: a 10% cocoa blend with almonds, Tyrolean organic milk, cane sugar & vanilla; a 30% white chocolate blend; 60%, 70%, 80% and 90% dark chocolate blends; and a 100% pure sugar-free creation. There is also a 40% Soya Milk couverture, for non-dairy eaters.”Couvertures typically have a very low particle size and a lower viscosity than chocolate that contains less than 31% total fat, thus offering a smoother, silkier mouthfeel and different melting characteristics,” explains Simon Godden, NPD manager of agricultural processor ADM Classic, which sources cocoa beans from across the globe and processes them into a range of cocoa powders, butters and liquors under the De Zaan brand name.Meanwhile, developer, producer and supplier Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients is offering tips on chocolate use. It recently launched a ’chocolate mailing list’, giving buyers access to a range of recipes using chocolate, as well as advance information on special offers and new products. The Unifine 2008 Collection houses a range of chocolate decorations and toppings, including chocolate flowers, white and milk chocolate sucrea duo rose buds and sucrea curls.Chocs away with these suppliers:[http://www.belcolade.com] / [http://www.puratos.co.uk][http://www.merchant-europe.co.uk][http://www.unifine.uk.com][http://www.barry-callebaut.com][http://www.admworld.com]
The current state of computer science teacher certification is very much in flux. Many states offer no CS certification courses for middle or high school teachers, and even fewer require teacher certifications before teaching CS classes.Tech companies such as Google, Microsoft and Oracle are corporate sponsors of the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA), which advocates for uniform CS teacher certification policies nationwide. In its 2013 report (funded by Google), “Bugs in the System: Computer Science Teacher Certification in the U.S.,” the CSTA highlighted states in which teachers with no CS experience could teach the subject, and where no certification programs exist to train them.(Related: Computer science a big priority for employers)Deborah Seehorn, a member and past chair of the CSTA’s board of directors, said the report’s most glaring theme is that due to confusing and conflicting regulations in all 50 states, CS teacher certification in the U.S. simply isn’t working. “We find that CS throughout the nation might be taught by a teacher with a formal CS background, or CS might be taught by a teacher who has a different background—perhaps mathematics, science, or business—who has taken professional development courses in order to teach CS,” said Seehorn. “Some states allow any teacher to teach CS courses.”Teacher certification in every discipline varies on a state-by-state basis, just as it does with CS teacher certification. Seehorn, who is also a business, finance and IT education consultant at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, believed that if computer science were considered a “core” subject like mathematics or science (and thus required for graduation), it would help ensure individual state adoption of CS teacher certifications. The CSTA Advocacy and Leadership Team members in every state advocate toward this end.The CSTA provides an interactive map of states that do or do not offer or require CS teacher certifications.How the CSTA and Google are trying to helpFounded in 2004 as a subsidiary of the Association for Computing Machinery, the CSTA provides K-12 CS teachers and students a variety of curriculum resources, professional development resources, and certifications. In 2011, it published the CSTA K-12 Computer Science Standards, a framework matched to the Common Core standards for teachers, administrators and policy makers to develop K-12 computer science education offerings in their own states and school systems.