Theobromine & Caffeine

Does cacao contain caffeine? Contrary to popular opinion, cacao is a poor source of caffeine. A typical sample of cacao nibs or beans will yield anywhere from zero caffeine to 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine (less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in conventional coffee).

Theobromine, like caffeine, and also, like the asthma-improving methylxanthine theophylline, belongs to the chemical group known as xanthine alkaloids. Chocolate products contain some caffeine, but not nearly enough to explain the attractions, fascinations, addictions, and effects of chocolate.

Cacao usually contains about 1 percent theobromine.  Theobromine is an effective antibacterial substance that kills streptococci mutans (the primary organism that causes cavities).  Theobromine is a chemical relative of caffeine but is not a nervous system stimulant.  Theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system, making the heart's job easier. This is one of the major reasons why cacao is part of a heart healthy diet.

Category: Nutritional Characteristics
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2010 02:44:00 AM
Views: 3906
Synopsis: Does cacao contain caffeine? Contrary to popular opinion, cacao is a poor source of caffeine. A typical sample of cacao nibs or beans will yield anywhere from zero caffeine to 1,000 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine (less than 1/20th of the caffeine present in conventional coffee).