Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study clarifies the role of cocoa bean handling on flavanol levels

11.03.2011
A comprehensive look at cocoa handling and flavanol antioxidants

As evidence regarding the health benefits of consuming dark chocolate and cocoa mounts, there has been an increasing debate about which cocoa and chocolate products deliver the most beneficial compounds, known as flavanols, and if steps in cocoa and chocolate production diminish the levels of cocoa flavanols.

In a recently published paper, scientists reported on the effect of conventional production methods of cocoa beans on the levels of flavanols, natural antioxidants. The study, conducted by researchers at the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition®, investigated cocoa beans and cocoa powders and described production steps that retain naturally occurring flavanols and reported that alkali processing causes a loss of up to 98% of one important flavanol, epicatechin, in the final product.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, compared the effects of various common production methods on freshly harvested unfermented and naturally farm-fermented beans. Levels of epicatechin and catechin, a less active flavanol antioxidant, were compared in beans that were unfermented and in beans that underwent medium (about 5 days) and long fermentation (about 10 days). Long fermentation previously has been shown to impact the level of epicatechin in cocoa beans, and the authors reported loss of both flavanols as fermentation time increased. Beans were roasted to temperatures of 120oC and the researchers found that temperatures of 70°C or higher caused some loss (up to 88% at 120oC) of epicatechin. Catechin levels, however, increased as roasting temperature increased. Additionally, natural cocoa powders and powders that had been treated with different levels of alkali also were measured. The study found that by far the greatest flavanol losses occurred during alkali processing. The results also suggested that epicatechin may be converted to catechin by alkali processing.

"This study is meant to address the impact of processing on the level of beneficial flavanol antioxidants found in cocoa beans" said Dr. Mark Payne, lead author of the paper. "We found that the processing step which causes the most loss in the flavanol epicatechin is the alkali processing step. Here the epicatechin, which is thought to be most beneficial, appears to be converted to catechin which has been shown to be less active in the body."

"Most of the world's cocoa beans undergo a natural, field fermentation on the farm and then roasting," said Dr. David A. Stuart, co-director of the Hershey Center. "Both steps are critical to the flavor development for chocolate and cocoa powder. It is important that we understand the balance in creating the wonderful flavor of chocolate with the health benefits of cocoa powder and dark chocolate. This study has gone a long way in furthering that understanding and is the first systematic study of the whole process, from bean to powder, that we are aware of."

The Hershey Center For Health & Nutrition® investigates and promotes the chemistry and health benefits of cocoa, chocolate, nuts and other ingredients.

About The Hershey Company

The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) is the largest producer of quality chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and sugar confectionery. Headquartered in Hershey, Pa., The Hershey Company has operations throughout the world and more than 12,000 employees. With revenues of more than $5 billion, Hershey offers such iconic brands as Hershey's, Reese's, Hershey's Kisses, Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Ice Breakers as well as the smooth, creamy indulgence of Hershey's Bliss chocolates. Hershey is a leader in the fast-growing dark and premium chocolate segment, with such brands as Hershey's Special Dark and Hershey's Extra Dark. In addition, Artisan Confections Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hershey Company, markets such premium chocolate offerings as Scharffen Berger and Dagoba. For more than 100 years, The Hershey Company has been a leader in making a positive difference in the communities where we live, work and do business. The Milton Hershey School, established by the company's founder in 1909, provides a nurturing environment, quality education, housing, and medical care at no cost to children in social and financial need. The School is administered by the Hershey Trust Company, Hershey's largest shareholder, making the students of Milton Hershey School direct beneficiaries of Hershey's success. Please visit us at www.hersheys.com.

Mark J Payne | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hersheys.com

Further reports about: Dark Quencher Nutrition® cocoa beans dark chocolate health services

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State

nachricht How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers create artificial materials atom-by-atom

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers show p300 protein may suppress leukemia in MDS patients

28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>