Malagos chocolate wins silver in Chocolate Awards in London

THE DAVAO-made Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate won the Silver at the Drinking Chocolate competition of the Academy of Chocolate’s Eighth Golden Bean Awards in London. This makes it the third major international award for Malagos Agri-Ventures, the company behind the award-winning chocolates.

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In October 2015, its Malagos 65% Dark Chocolate was given the Silver in the World Drinking Chocolate Competition in Hannover, Germany. In April of that same year, Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate also won the Bronze Award for Best Unflavoured Drinking chocolate at the 2015 World Chocolate Awards in London.

The announcement was made on May 22, 2016 on the Academy of Chocolate’s website (www.academyofchocolate.org.uk/awards). The London-based group comprising various professionals in the industry holds the independent competition to give recognition to excellence in fine chocolate-making. It aims to raise appreciation for fine chocolates as well as promote transparency in the sourcing of the prime ingredient for chocolates, the cocoa bean.

“Winning the Silver Award this year, after our Bronze triumph last year, proves that we strive to always be the best in what we do,” said Rex Puentespina, Chocolate Maker and sales and marketing director at Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., the company that makes the award-winning chocolates. “That we won three major international awards almost within one year is something every Filipino can be proud of,” he added.

The company started its chocolate business only in 2012, when it ventured into making premium single-origin cocoa liquor. It built on the training it received from the Mars Cocoa Sustainability

Team on how to grow and produce high-quality cacao beans. While the technical assistance of the PUM (Programma Uitzending Managers), an organization of senior experts based in the Netherlands, provided the much-needed assistance on chocolate making.

Malagos Agri-Ventures has its own cacao nursery, which is certified by the Bureau of Plant Industry. It grows cacao trees in Malagos, Baguio District, Davao City and supplies true-to-type cacao seedlings, seeds and scions all over Mindanao. Puentespina, along with his mother Charita, has been working closely with more than 40 small farmers in the area, using cacao beansharvested from trees growing in the foothills of Mount Talomo in Davao, a highly diverse agricultural area on the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines.

“We grow Trinitario clones, a cross between the Criollo and Forastero varieties, specifically and predominantly the UF 18, BR 25 and PBC 123 clones. The beans we grow are considered as fine flavor beans. These beans are manually harvested then fermented on the farm to further enhance naturally the complex flavor of cocoa,” explained Puentespina.

Since its initial venture into chocolate-making, the company has invested in solar dryers, precision-controlled roasters, ball mill grinders and tempering machines. The company still continuously upgrades its equipment and technology, producing other premium, single-origin chocolate products such as Malagos 65%, 72% & 85% Dark Chocolates, and Malagos Roasted Cocoa Nibs. The award-winning entry, Malagos Premium 100% Unsweetened Chocolate was one of the company’s first efforts in its aim to produce high-quality, single-origin chocolates.

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