Based in Newport, Bossa Nova Chocolate produce a range of handmade Brazilian-style chocolate truffles, which are gluten-free and made using natural ingredients. Founded in 2019 by Andrea Staggemeier, who was born in Brazil, Bossa Nova’s name comes from her love of the Brazilian music style.
Bossa Nova approached ZERO2FIVE for support in 2022 when the company was looking for help with extending the shelf life of their products as well as implementing more efficient traceability and production systems.
Support from ZERO2FIVE
Bossa Nova had encountered crystallisation issues with several of their products, which reduced their shelf-life to 14 days. The confectionery experts at ZERO2FIVE investigated the cause of the crystallisation issues, reviewing the company’s ingredients, recipes, and production processes. As a result, changes to the production method were identified, which resolved the crystallisation issue across Bossa Nova’s entire product range.
ZERO2FIVE carried out organoleptic testing, demonstrating that the revised products’ texture, aroma, flavour, and appearance were assessed as acceptable for up to 70 days. Bossa Nova plans to send the products to a UKAS-accredited laboratory for microbiological testing, and ZERO2FIVE will support the company to interpret the results, with the aim of increasing their shelf life.
Andrea Staggemeier, owner of Bossa Nova, said: “It’s incredible. By changing one small step, we’ve gone from a shelf life of two weeks to ten weeks without crystallisation. So that’s opened up the market for my products.
“We participated in the trader lounge at the Royal Welsh Show recently, and five different businesses showed an interest in stocking our chocolates. That could only be possible by extending the shelf life.”
An independent review of Bossa Nova’s manufacturing practices was carried out during a development day at ZERO2FIVE, with the aim of identifying improvements which could be made to increase production efficiency and standardise the cooking times for different products.
Using the company’s most technically challenging product as an example, two main bottlenecks were identified which reduced manufacturing efficiency – continual stirring at the mixing stage and forming the truffles to an exact weight.
As a result, ZERO2FIVE researched two pieces of equipment which Bossa Nova could purchase to automate both these processes and make significant efficiency improvements. Hygienic design was a key consideration, ensuring that both pieces of equipment could be easily cleaned to reduce product contamination risks.
Bossa Nova has purchased one of the pieces of equipment and plans to carry out trials with the manufacturer of the other.
Andrea said: “Purchasing a stirring machine has improved the production process, and it has also helped make my life a bit healthier as the constant stirring aggravated my health conditions.
“Standardising the cooking times has enabled me to get the same product consistency regardless of who makes them.”
Traceability is the ability to trace food through all production, processing, and distribution stages. A legal requirement, it ensures that efficient product withdrawals and recalls can occur in the event of any food safety issues.
A ZERO2FIVE technologist mentored Bossa Nova to develop best-practice traceability systems, including batch coding and production paperwork. With an extensive product range, traceability can be very time-consuming, so introducing more efficient processes has greatly benefited the business.
Andrea said: “Everything that ZERO2FIVE has done has been amazing and helped me set up a better future for my company. I came from a different industry into food, and so their knowledge is vital to a small business like mine. I’m always referring people to ZERO2FIVE.”