Three Cheers for Chocolate
From Cocoa Bean to Grocery Shelf
The cocoa manufacturing process, according to Emily Korns, a registered dietitian and Manager of Health and Science Communications at Mars Inc., involves the following:
- Pod breaking
- Bean fermenting
- Bean drying
- Bean cleaning
- Bean roasting
- Bean winnowing
- Nib grinding
- Liquor pressing
- Cake alkalizing
- Cake milling
Unfortunately, some of this lengthy process takes away from the bean's natural health benefits. For instance, careful bean fermenting is necessary to develop the best chocolate flavor, but "significantly reduces the amount of flavanols," says Korns. "Unfermented beans contain the highest level of flavanols, but they taste bitter, without any chocolate flavor."
Flavanols are also lost during the bean-roasting process, since the high temperatures destroy them. Interaction with other ingredients, such as carbohydrate- and protein-containing ingredients, during batch processing also reduces flavanol content.
What do you think of this story? Leave a Comment.
SAVE EVEN MORE! Say "Yes" to Fitness® Magazine today and get a second year for HALF PRICE – 2 full years (20 issues) for just $15. You also get our new Fitness Band and Total Body Express Band Workout ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. orders only)