A mug of hot chocolate before bed is not usually seen as a prelude to an evening of whirlwind passion.

That may be about to change with the introduction of a 'turbo-charged' type of chocolate said to have Viagra-like properties.

The world's largest chocolate-maker has developed a technique to concentrate levels of key plant chemicals called flavanols.

These are found in cocoa beans but are normally stripped out in the chocolate-making process.


Swiss-based chocolate giant Barry Callebaut is said to be just weeks away from getting the go-ahead from the EU to claim the 'turbo-charged' chocolate boosts health by increasing blood flow.

Industry experts say it will then be only a matter of time before it is incorporated into novelty chocolates, pastes and drinks that, like Viagra, use a rush of blood to stop a man from being a flop in the bedroom.

The flood of feel-good hormones to the brain would be an added bonus, the International Chocolate Industry Network event heard this week.

Angus Kennedy, of trade magazine Kennedy's Confection, said: 'If it is cleared for use, this could see men swap chemical-packed blue pills for a turbo-charged hot chocolate.

'It's an all-natural ingredient which could give men the legendary staying power of some of the world's greatest lovers. I've been in the business for 35 years and this is probably one of the most exciting things I've seen.'

Men who buy the 'natural Viagra' will be in good company. Aztec ruler Montezuma is said to have downed 50 cups of a chocolate drink before visiting his harem. Venetian arch-seducer Casanova also partook of chocolate.

Although most people have never heard of it, one in five chunks of chocolate that pass your lips is likely to have been made by Barry Callebaut.

The firm helps supply many household names including Cadbury's, as well as caterers and chefs, and has British factories in Chester, Banbury and St Helens.

Recent research from trends analysis firm Mintel reveals men are catching up with women when it comes to munching the sweet treat, as 87 per cent of men now eat chocolate, compared with 91 per cent of women.

- Daily Mail