Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity

Date:
April 23, 2005
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Cocoa powder contains more beneficial antioxidants than other chocolate products, but processing decreases their contents. Those are the results of a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their cooperators interested in the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and procyanidin levels of six chocolate and cocoa products.

Cocoa beans in a cacao pod.
Credit: Photo by Keith Weller

Cocoa powder contains more beneficial antioxidants than other chocolate products, but processing decreases their contents.

Related Articles


Those are the results of a study by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and their cooperators interested in the total antioxidant capacity (TAC) and procyanidin levels of six chocolate and cocoa products: natural (unsweetened) cocoa powders, Dutch processed (alkalinized) cocoa powders, unsweetened baking chocolates, semi-sweet chocolate baking chips, dark chocolates, and milk chocolates.

Chocolate and cocoa powder are derived from beans that contain hefty quantities of natural antioxidants called flavonoids. The researchers found natural cocoa contains the highest capacity of the antioxidant procyanidin. Antioxidants are thought to be effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Ronald L. Prior, an ARS nutritionist at the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center (ACNC) in Little Rock, Ark., presented the study's results in San Diego, Calif., today with Liwei Gu and Xianli Wu of ACNC and Jim Harnly, a chemist at the ARS Beltsville (Md.) Human Nutrition Research Center. They presented the findings at Experimental Biology 2005, an annual meeting that brings together 16,000 biological and biomedical scientists from dozens of different disciplines.

The researchers found natural cocoa powders contained the highest levels of TAC and procyanidins, which were found to be the dominant antioxidant in chocolates. Milk chocolates, which contain the least amount of cocoa solids, had the lowest TAC and procyanidin levels. Baking chocolates contained fewer procyanidins, because they contained more fat (50-60 percent) than natural cocoa. Alkalinization, used to reduce the acidity and raise the pH of cocoa, such as Dutch chocolates, was found to markedly reduce procyanidin content. Researchers concluded that chocolates containing higher amounts of cocoa ingredients have higher procyanidin contents, therefore, higher antioxidant capacities.

Nine major manufacturers provided commercially available chocolate and cocoa samples and the National Institute of Standards and Technology provided its Standard Reference chocolate for analysis. The study was partially funded by a grant from the American Cocoa Research Institute.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234416.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2005, April 23). In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234416.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "In Chocolate, More Cocoa Means Higher Antioxidant Capacity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421234416.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Jockey Motion Tracking Reveals Racing Prowess

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 26, 2015) Using motion tracking technology, researchers from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) are trying to establish an optimum horse riding style to train junior jockeys, as well as enhance safety, health and well-being of both racehorses and jockeys. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

Botswana Talks to End Illegal Wildlife Trade

AFP (Mar. 25, 2015) Experts are gathering in Botswana to try to end the illegal wildlife trade that is decimating populations of elephants, rhinos and other threatened species. Duration: 01:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Elephants Help Keep 18-Wheeler From Toppling Over

Newsy (Mar. 25, 2015) The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff&apos;s Office discovered two elephants keeping a tractor-trailer that had gotten stuck in some mud upright on a highway. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Baby 'pet' Orangutan Rescued from Chicken Cage Takes First Steps

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 25, 2015) Buti, a baby orangutan who was left malnourished in a chicken cage before his rescue, takes his first steps after months of painful physical therapy. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins