ingredient information
Cocoa Powder Dutch Processed with Alkali
Cocoa is the dried and fully fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree, from which chocolate is made. (The word "cocoa" is simply a derivative of "cacao".) "Cocoa" can often also refer to the drink commonly known as hot chocolate;[1] to cocoa powder, the dry powder made by grinding cocoa seeds and removing the cocoa butter from the dark, bitter cocoa solids; or to a mixture of cocoa powder and cocoa butter.[2][3] A cacao pod has a rough leathery rind about 3 cm thick (this varies with the origin and variety 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. A powder is a dry, bulk solid composed of a large number of very fine particles that may flow freely when shaken or tilted. Powders are a special sub-class of granular materials, although the terms powder and granular are sometimes used to distinguish separate classes of material. In particular, powders refer to those granular materials that have the finer grain sizes, and that therefore have a greater tendency to form clumps when flowing. Granulars refers to the coarser granular materials that do not tend to form clumps except when wet. Alkalis counterbalance and neutralize ACIDS. In cooking, the most common alkali used is bicarbonate of soda, commonly known as BAKING SODA. Cocoa beans are grown in pods on the cacao tree. The cacao tree is a tropical plant, meaning it thrives in the zones just north and south of the equator: the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Like coffee beans and wine grapes, cocoa beans are cultivated all around the world under widely ranging conditions,and that gives regional cocoas their distinctive characters and flavors. Stories on the health benefits of consuming cocoa products have increasingly made the news following the discovery that they are an excellent source of catechins, which are polyphenols of the flavanol group, and which are believed to protect against heart disease, cancer, and various other medical conditions. Urging consumers to increase their chocolate intake for "Health Reasons" leaves nutritional research less than credible, particularly when diabetes and obesity have become an out-of-control problem in Western societies