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CHOCOLATE. Cacao Tree. The tree is often grown in the shade of other trees. It can be as tall as 40 feet and has fruit (pods) which are more than a foot long. The fruit may be brownish-yellow to purple, and contain 20-40 seeds or cacao beans in a pink, sweet-sour pulp.

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Cacao tree
Cacao Tree

The tree is often grown in the shade of other trees.

It can be as tall as 40 feet and has fruit (pods) which are more than a foot long.

The fruit may be brownish-yellow to purple, and contain 20-40 seeds or cacao beans in a pink, sweet-sour pulp.


The cacao tree is cultivated in many countries, but today the leading suppliers are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Papua New Guinea.


Fermentation of cacao
Fermentation of Cacao

The fermentation process transforms the flavor to what we associate with cocoa and chocolate.

Without the fermentation process there will not be any chocolate flavor.





Nutrition facts
Nutrition Facts the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

Fat

  • Cocoa beans contain approximately 50% fat. It is primarily comprised of two saturated fatty acids, and the monounsaturated oleic acid.

  • Cocoa butter and chocolate do not raise blood cholesterol.


Sugar the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • The cacao bean contains quite a lot of carbohydrates, but most of it is starch, soluble dietary fibers and insoluble dietary fibers.

  • A very small proportion is simple sugars.

  • Sugar is added during the manufacture of chocolate.


Antioxidants the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Cocoa beans contain polyphenols (similar to those found in wine) with antioxidant properties which are health beneficial.

  • These compounds are called flavonoids.

  • The flavonoids also reduce the blood's ability to clot and thus reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.


Theobromine the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Theobromine is a very mild stimulant with a mild diuretic action (increases the production of urine).

  • Please note that theobromine can be toxic to animals like dogs, cats, parrots and horses.


Caffeine the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Cocoa beans contains a very low amount of caffeine, much less than found in coffee, tea and cola.


Anandamide
ANANDAMIDE the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Chemicals found in chocolate target the same brain receptor system as marijuana.

  • It activates the brain cells the same way as THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) does in marijuana.

  • But, a 130 lb person would have to eat a whopping 25lb. of chocolate to get a "buzz."

  • White chocolate does not contain this substance.


Phenylethylamine the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Phenylethylamine is a slight antidepressant and stimulant similar to the body's own dopamine and adrenaline.

  • Phenylethylamine is known as the "love drug" and is thought be be the reason why chocolate is said to be an aphrodisiac.


Serotonin the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Cocoa and chocolate can increase the level of serotonin in the brain.

  • Serotonin levels are often decreased in people with depression and in those experiencing PMS symptoms.

  • Chocolate consumption stimulates the release of serotonin into the body, which combine to produce a relaxed or euphoric feeling.

  • This may explain why some people crave chocolate when they're feeling depressed.


Essential minerals the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Cocoa beans are rich in a number of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese.


Vitamins the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and pantothenic acid.


Is chocolate fattening? the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Yes, chocolate is fattening. Even dark chocolate contains a lot of calories because of the large content of fat and sugar.

  • The sugar content in chocolate is worse than the fat content regarding negative effects on health.


Strange chocolate
STRANGE CHOCOLATE the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.


Chocolate Hair the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • A model wearing a chocolate wig gets her makeup done.


Chocolate fashion show
Chocolate Fashion Show the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.


Chocolate car
Chocolate Car the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • he used about 100 kg of chocolate and 30 kg of cocoa butter to make the model, which took five people one week to assemble.


Serious chocolate
SERIOUS CHOCOLATE the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.


What is fair trade
WHAT IS FAIR TRADE? the cacao beans) they are ground making cocoa liquor, see the left side of the picture.

  • Fair Trade fights poverty by providing sustainable livelihoods.

  • Fair Trade is trading partnership, a sustainable business model, that establishes better trading conditions to, and secures the rights of, marginalized producers, artisans and workers.



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