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Study clarifies the role of cocoa bean handling on flavanol levels
Date:3/10/2011

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."


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Contact: Mark J Payne
mpayne@hersheys.com
717-534-5212
The Hershey Company
Source:Eurekalert

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