ohso - A Review of Chocolate with Health Benefits!
Posted 3 October 2012 22:19
Everybody loves chocolate and everybody wants to eat food that’s healthy. Until now I haven’t seen a healthy chocolate (believe me, I’ve looked!), then I discovered ohso. They are producing chocolate that is 53% cocoa, with 1 billion probiotic things in every 72 calorie bar!
They were kind enough to send me a free sample, which I quickly devoured.
It arrived in a slim white box, which I opened to reveal a large packet, containing 7 chocolate bars – one for every day of the week.
The packet says:
- Each bar of dark Belgian chocolate contains your optimum daily amount of probiotic to keep your digestive system healthy and you happy
- Good bacteria last 3 times longer in chocolate than in yogurt drinks
- Each bar contains around a billion Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria
- Minimum cocoa solids 53%
The 72 calorie bars are individually wrapped with plastic and a paper sleeve.
What I like about this chocolate vs liquid forms of pro-biotic intake (such as Yakult), is that I can store them anywhere, at room temperature.
In my fridge at home
This is a big advantage! I’ve tried Yakult before and I kept forgetting to get one out of my fridge each morning, to take with me to work.
They are smaller, so easier to store and easier to dispose of. The Yakult drinks are hard plastic – quite small, but still slightly bulky and there are always some drops left, which inevitably spill.
When I was a child, my parents gave me Penguins, Clubs, Wagon Wheels, etc. None of these were labelled as healthy, in fact they were all truely unhealthy, being made from low quality chocolate (let’s call it confectionary rather than chocolate) and some of them (Wagon Wheels in particular) were rather big.
I like the idea of parents being able to give their children an alternative. I think children will always crave chocolate and the ohso bars could be a compromise – certainly better than the usual treats that I’ve just mentioned.
The 53% cocoa content is far higher than is found in most chocolate bars, but it still tastes like a light chocolate bar – it isn’t bitter at all, so I don’t think most kids would turn their noses up at it.
Being a small bar means that it can be seen as a treat – or if you like, see it as medicinal. It comes in a packet of 7 bars and is marketed so that consumption should be 1 bar per day – when children see it as being marketed as 1 bar per day, they might accept just 1 bar, rather than automatically wanting more than 1 (as I always did as a child... and still now!).
What can I say – it tastes like plain chocolate. It isn’t sweet or bitter, it just tastes like a reasonable quality chocolate and it melts at room temperature.
I can’t taste anything medicinal, or different because of the added bacteria (I wouldn’t expect to).
I really like how it is formed as lots of small cubes – they make a satisfactory snap sound and encourage you to eat the chocolate more slowly than you would if it was smooth and flat, like a Milky Bar.
I asked ohso a few questions:
Paul: Is it fair to compare your chocolate to drinks such as Yakult? I see they have 6.5 billion bacteria and I don't know if it's the same type of bacteria, if it matters that yours is a lower dosage, if yours gets released slower somehow, etc.
ohso: Yes we have less probiotics than a Yakult BUT it is the number of bacteria that make it through to the intestine that counts. We have proven that the bacteria in ohso chocolate survives much better than in a dairy product... in fact at least 3 to 4 times more effective. This is because we micro encapsulate the bacteria and this along with the slow release/protection afforded by the chocolate allow them to much better reach the intestine.
Paul: Is there a recommended minimum age limit for the chocolate, with regards to the pro-biotics?
ohso: ohso is suitable for all ages in the same way that any probiotic dairy product (such as Yakult) would be.
Do probiotics actually give any significant health benefits? From what I’ve read and seen on TV, I think that probiotics can help some people, but do little or nothing for most people. However I’m not a biologist so please do your own research.
ohso comes in 2 flavours – plain and orange (I have only tried the plain) and can be purchased from the ohso website.
Via their website, you can choose to:
- Make a 1 off purchase
- Gift a 1 off purchase
- Buy weekly (with free delivery and the first pack half price)
Each 7-day pack costs £3.98 per, plus postage and packaging.
The site allows you to purchase up to 10 packs of each the plain and orange flavoured chocolates. If you want more than this, you will have to e-mail or phone them.
Standard delivery 24 hours.
I like the packaging, I like the chocolate and I like how it is presented as 7 small daily bars at 53% cocoa.
I think it is a far healthier alternative to most other options that are often placed in the school lunchbox, it’s a small portion size (good when portion sizes keep creeping up) and it helps educate children that you need to think about what you eat.
Of course, it isn’t designed to be a product for children – that’s just the first ‘use case’ I thought of. It will obviously be good as a small treat for adults (e.g. mid morning, or on the drive to work) – and hopefully a healthy treat too. If only all medicine tasted this good!