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Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
Date:4/24/2012

anges are more than just interesting chemical conversions. Previous research has identified ()-epicatechin as a critical, biologically active component of cocoa that is capable of mediating improvements in cardiovascular function. A collaborative study published in January 2011 by researchers from the University of California, Davis and Mars, Incorporated went one step further and revealed the crucial importance of flavanol stereochemistry. Specifically, the 2011 study highlights that, of the stereochemical forms of epicatechin and catechin, (−)-epicatechin is the most absorbed by the body almost six times more than ()-catechin. This clear demonstration of the profound impact of stereochemistry on flavanol absorption reinforces the need to identify and quantify the exact flavanol forms present in foods when considering their cardiovascular health impact. The recently published Journal of AOAC International paper provides a validated method for exactly this.

"This newly validated method addresses important gaps in our knowledge. In particular, it helps improve our understanding of the impact of food processing on the flavanol content of foods such as cocoa a crucial step towards the development of optimized food products to support health", commented Dr. Kwik-Uribe. "What's more, by identifying which flavanols are actually in the foods we eat, methods such as this enable a more detailed look at epidemiological studies and intervention trials. This brings us closer to being able to provide meaningful dietary recommendations."

The method has been published in the Journal of AOAC International. This research was conducted by a team of researchers from Mars Botanical, a scientific division of Mars, Incorporated, and forms part of a wider body of work examining cocoa flavanols, their chemistry and benefits to health.


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Contact: Elizabeth Willett
Elizabeth.willett@mss.effem.com
301-768-9100
Mars Symbioscience
Source:Eurekalert

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