Cocoa and health: a decade of research
Karen A. Cooper, Jennifer L. Donovan, Andrew L. Waterhouse and Gary Williamson (2008). Cocoa and health: a decade of research. British Journal of Nutrition, 99, pp 1-11
It has been over 10 years since the first mention in a medical journal about cocoa and chocolate as potential sources of antioxidants for health. During this time, cocoa has been found to improve antioxidant status, reduce inflammation and correlate with reduced heart disease risk; with these results, and its popularity, it has received wide coverage in the press. However, after 10 years of research, what is known about the potential health benefits of cocoa and what are the important next steps in understanding this decadent source of antioxidants?
Key Words: Cocoa; Chocolate; Health; Polyphenols; Antioxidant
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Cocoa polyphenols and their influence on parameters involved in ex vivo skin restructuring.
Polyphenols in general are compounds that are known to promote health and have a preventive effect against various chronic diseases. The influence of cocoa polyphenols on skin, however, has scarcely been studied from a histological point of view. The aim of this study is to assess the influence of cocoa polyphenols on several indicators of skin elasticity and skin tonus, namely, glycosaminoglycans and collagen I, III and IV. This was carried out by using a model of ex vivo human skin explants maintained in survival, on which a cocoa polyphenol extract was applied. After processing by standard histological techniques (fixation, paraffin embedding, sectioning, staining, immunostaining and microscopical observation), the influence of cocoa polyphenols on the evaluated parameters was quantified by image analysis. The results obtained show that cocoa polyphenols exhibit a positive action on the parameters assessed, and the dose at which they improve the most parameters associated with skin tonus and elasticity was determined. Their activity was compared with a commercially available product, and the results obtained show that their efficacy is equivalent. Moreover, an enhancing effect of cocoa butter on activity of cocoa polyphenol was highlighted. Now that the properties of cocoa polyphenols on ex vivo skin restructuring parameters have been assessed, the next step could include their evaluation in vivo.
Cacao Chocolate Polyphenolic Substances Changes During Fermentation
CHANGES DURING FERMENTATION BY W. G. C. FORSYTH
Colonial Microbiological Re8earch In8titute, Trinidad, Briti8h We8t Indies
(Received 6 September 1951)
Fresh cacao beans are prepared for marketing by heaping in boxes so that their covering of mucilaginous pulp can be broken down through the action of yeasts and acetic acid bacteria (Knapp, 1937). After this fermentation the beans are sun-dried. During both processes various changes take place in the cotyledons of the beans, which result in a product suitable for the manufacture of chocolate. The most striking chemical changes taking place during processing of fresh cacao beans are the alterations in the polyphenolic substances of the beans, the simpler polyphenols yielding insoluble complexes (Hallas, 1939, 1949).
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Analyses of polyphenols in cacao liquor, cocoa, and chocolate by normal-phase and reversed-phase HPLC.
Natsume M, Osakabe N, Yamagishi M, Takizawa T, Nakamura T, Miyatake H, Hatano T, Yoshida T.
Functional Foods R&D Laboratory, Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd., Saitama, Japan. [email protected]
The antioxidant polyphenols in cacao liquor, a major ingredient of chocolate and cocoa, have been characterized as flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidin oligomers. In this study, various cacao products were analyzed by normal-phase HPLC, and the profiles and quantities of the polyphenols present, grouped by molecular size (monomers to approximately oligomers), were compared. Individual cacao polyphenols, flavan-3-ols (catechin and epicatechin), and dimeric (procyanidin B2), trimeric (procyanidin C1), and tetrameric (cinnamtannin A2) proanthocyanidins, and galactopyranosyl-ent-(-)-epicatechin (2alpha-->7, 4alpha-->8)-(-)-epicatechin (Gal-EC-EC), were analyzed by reversed-phase HPLC and/or HPLC/MS. The profile of monomers (catechins) and proanthocyanidin in dark chocolate was similar to that of cacao liquor, while the ratio of flavan-3-ols to the total amount of monomeric and oligomeric polyphenols in the case of pure cocoa powder was higher than that in the case of cacao liquor or chocolate.
Antioxidant Study on Roasted Cacao Bean Liquor Chocolate and Cocoa
Cacao Polyphenols Flow Chart