ingredient information
Cocoa Natural
Cocoa is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from which chocolate is made. In the United States, 'cocoa' often refers to cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids. Cocoa powder has an extremely bitter flavor. A cocoa pod has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin of pod). It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp called 'baba de cacao' in South America, enclosing 30 to 50 large almond-like seeds (beans) that are fairly soft and pinkish or purplish in color. The uses of cocoa beans are numerous. Chocolate or cocoa powder is mixed into cakes, ice creams, creams, cookies, or drinks as a natural flavour. It is the second most popular ice cream flavor, after vanilla. Sometimes it is merely used as a natural coloring agent for food, such as pasta. One of the most common forms of cocoa is the chocolate or candy bar. It is also available in chocolate syrup, used as an ice cream topping or to make chocolate milk. Cocoa has about twice as many antioxidants as does red wine, and up to three times more than green tea. Antioxidants are thought to be healthy compounds. Several chocolate manufacturers are beginning to offer chocolate products with guaranteed levels of these antioxidants, called polyphenols. The high antioxidant level in cocoa gives dark chocolate an ORAC value of 13,120 and milk chocolate an ORAC value of 6,740. [4] A 15-year study of elderly men published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006 found a 50 percent reduction in cardiovascular mortality and a 47 percent reduction in all-cause mortality for the men regularly consuming the most cocoa, compared to those consuming the least cocoa from all sources. Source: