'It tastes like chocolate!' These SA students have created a delicious choc-hazelnut-flavoured spread that's actually healthy


Well, this clever team of food-science students will tell you otherwise.

Using a concoction of fermented red-speckled beans and sweet potato, they managed to create a thick chocolate-and-hazelnut-flavoured spread.

Their creation -- which they dubbed S'cool Beans -- was such a hit that the formidable team took second place in the Food Science Students Fighting World Hunger competition at the International Union of Food Science and Technology conference in Dublin, Ireland, on 22 August.

Scool beans

"The competition is aimed at fighting hunger by developing a food product that's high in protein, high in dietary fibre and low in sodium," team member Cenette Bezuidenhout told YOU from Dublin.

Cenette and her classmates, Carin-Marie Engelbrecht, Nicholas Grobbelaar, Taryn Harding, Shannon Howell and Megan Kleyn (all just 23 years old!) created the spread as part of their undergraduate degree in food science at Stellenbosch University.

The assignment was a team project supervised by the coordinators of the new product development module in the degree's final year.

"The theme was stealth health and we wanted to create a product that wasn't only healthy and nutritious but tasty too," she explained.

"S'cool Beans contains the majority of the nutrients required by young children. It's high in protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as low in sodium.

"It has less than half the sugar of commercial chocolate spreads: we have one teaspoon per serving while other brands have up to five teaspoons of sugar per serving."

It's relatively inexpensive to produce, Cenette says -- but it takes at least 12 hours to make one batch.

So will we get to try it?

"There's potential to commercialise but we're still looking for a company to produce it," the student says.

If the thought of chocolate spread has left you hungry, try these:

Homemade chunky chocolate spread

Chocolate Cremora tart

Caramel, peanut and chocolate chip bites

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