„Food of the Gods” – that what the cocoa was called when the Spaniards reached South America.
The wild cocoa tree may grow up to 200 years, but the cultivated common one usually is replace in 20-30 years.
The cocoa tree is small and its pods are formed on the trunk and its branches. These pods are about 20 cm long, red or yellow and very hard. Inside them are the beans that after been picked out, are fermented, dried out and grinded.
What are the cocoa ingredients?
- - Fats – the cocoa beans consist of butter in high percentage. The cocoa butter contents include glicides of palmitic (23-25%), stearic (31-34,5%), oleic (39-43%) and linoleic (до 2%) acids. The cocoa butter represents homogenous, relative thick crunchy mass with yellowish colour. There is a slight odour and good taste.
- - Vegetable protein – relatively rich of proteins as this depends on the sort. Despite the great variety of amino acids in the cocoa protein and approximate contents of pure protein of 25%, cocoa and common chocolate are not that important source of protein as it could be expected. This is so because less than in fact 40% of the proteins are used by the human body and some of them are either lost or transformed in their processing.
- - Sugar – cocoa beans consist lots of carbohydrates, but most of them are of starch, soluble and insoluble fibres. A very small part of these are simple carbohydrates. 100 grams of cocoa consist of approximately 37- 40 gr. of carbohydrates..
- - Antioxidants – cocoa beans consist polyphenols (close to these in wine) that on their behalf have good antioxidant healthy properties.
- - Caffeine – cocoa beans consist a small quantity of caffeine, much less that coffee or even tea.
- - Phenylethilamines – they are antidepressants and stimulants, similar to the produced by the human body self dopamine and adrenaline.
- - Serotonin – cocoa and chocolate may raise the level of serotonins in brain.
- - Basic minerals – cocoa beans are rich of many basic minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, potassium and manganese.
- - Vitamins – A, B1, B2, B3, В5, C, E.