Facts About Chocolate

Facts About Chocolate

What is chocolate?

Chocolate, a smooth creamy delicacy that the world has been in love with for centuries derives from a tropical tree known specifically as Theobroma Cacao meaning “food of the gods“also widely known as cocoa tree.

The cocoa tree bears a fruit called cocoa pod which has a leathery texture and is oval in shape, each pod has between 30-60 cocoa beans.

Once harvested, the beans are extracted, fermented, dried, roasted and then ground to produce cocoa mass or cocoa liquor.

Pressed cocoa liquor yields cocoa butter and cocoa cake / solids which is eventually ground up into cocoa powder.

Finally,  cocoa liquor is combined with cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla & milk to make what we love, chocolate!

Cocoa liquor-is the ground or melted state of the nib of the cocoa bean that contains roughly equal parts of cocoa butter and cocoa solids.

Cocoa butter-is the fatty component of the cocoa bean.

Cocoa solids-the remaining nonfat part of the cocoa bean which is ground into a powder.

Types of chocolate

White chocolate -a confection based on sugar, milk and cocoa butter without cocoa solids.

White chocolate nutrients per 100 grams

  • Calories- 538
  • Fat- 31.1 g
  • Sat fat – 19.4 g
  • Cholesterol – 14 mg
  • Sodium – 90 mg
  • Total carbs – 59.2 g
  • Sugars – 59.1 g
  • Protein – 5.9 g
  • Calcium – 199 mg
  • Potassium – 286 mg

Sweet chocolate -a blend of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and flavorings.

Sweet chocolate nutrients per 100 grams

  • Calories – 505
  • Total fat- 34.2 g
  • Sat fat- 20.8 g
  • Sodium – 16 mg
  • Potassium – 290 mg
  • Carbs – 59.6 g
  • Dietary fiber – 5.5 g
  • Sugars- 51.48 g
  • Protein – 3.9 g
  • Calcium – 2%
  • Iron – 15 %

Milk chocolate – a combination of cocoa liquor, milk solids, cocoa butter and finely powdered sugar.

Milk chocolate nutrients per 100 grams

  • Calories- 534
  • Total fat- 29.7 g
  • Sat fat- 14.2 g
  • Cholesterol – 23 mg
  • Sodium – 79 mg
  • Total carbs -59.4 g
  • Dietary fiber- 3.4 g
  • Sugar – 51.5 g
  • Protein -7.7 g
  • Calcium -189 mg
  • Potassium – 372 mg
  • Caffeine -20 mg

Dark chocolate – also known as semisweet or bittersweet chocolate contains between 60-85% cocoa solids and very little added sugar.

Dark chocolate nutrients per 100 grams

  • Calories-546
  • Total fat-31 g
  • Sat fat- 19 g
  • Total carbs- 61 g
  • Cholesterol – 8 mg
  • Sodium – 20 mg
  • Sugar- 48 g
  • Dietary fiber- 7 g
  • Protein -4.9 g
  • Caffeine – 43 mg
  • Calcium – 5%
  • Potassium – 559 mg
  • Iron – 44%
  • Vitamin B12-3%
  • Magnesium – 36%

Health benefits of chocolate

Cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants such as procyanidins and high levels of flavanoids which as anti aging properties and epicatechin which is beneficial to cardiovascular health.

Consuming foods that are high in cocoa ( dark chocolate ) may help reduce high blood pressure.

Note: Due to the different varieties of chocolate, the health benefits are not the same. The higher the cocoa solids within the chocolate, the more beneficial it is to your health.

Facts about chocolate

  • White chocolate is not chocolate,  it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor but mostly cocoa butter.
  • Ivory Coast is the #1 producer of cocoa, accounting for over  39% of the global production per year.
  • The global chocolate market brings in 180 billion US dollars per year.

References

Research on chocolate:

www.wikipedia.com

www.med.umich.edu

Nutrition facts:

www.calorieking.com