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First validated method for analyzing flavanols and procyanidins in cocoa products could help scientists and the industry in standardized reporting
Date:8/30/2012

consumers lack clear and relevant information.

Moreover, the lack of an agreed method of analysis has left the field plagued by a variety of non-specific methods that provide no details about the types and mixtures of flavanols and procyanidins in foods, and typically overestimate the true levels of these compounds in foods, including cocoa products. Recognition of the limitations of these non-specific methods for reporting the content of phytonutrients has recently been highlighted by the USDA, which removed the USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Database for Selected Foods from its Nutrient Data Laboratory website. This was a result of mounting evidence indicating that measurements of "antioxidant capacity" have no relevance to human health, particularly as it relates to the benefits of specific phytonutrients.

The availability of a new, properly-validated and standardized method that provides specific compositional information on the types and mixtures of flavanols and procyanidins in cocoa and chocolate products is therefore an important step. Such a method will be crucial to establishing a causal relationship between the intake of the specific phytonutrients and their health benefits.

To address this, Mars, Incorporated initiated and led a collaborative study with AOAC International, a not-for-profit scientific association that assists in the validation of analytical methods worldwide. To validate the method at the various laboratories, scientists at Mars distributed 14 samples representing a variety of cocoa-containing products and ingredients with flavanol and procyanidin concentrations ranging from < 2 mg/g to 500 mg/g. These products included milk and dark chocolates, cocoa powders, cocoa liquors, and cocoa extracts. Using a liquid chromatographic method developed by Mars, published in 2009(1) and since improved, each lab tested all samples in duplicate for flavanols and procyanidins, and reported results. Subsequ
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Contact: Marlene Machut
Marlene.Machut@mss.effem.com
301-444-7586
Mars, Incorporated
Source:Eurekalert

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