Friday, July 09, 2010

Composition of Cocoa Bean

Composition of Cocoa Bean
The coca bean is composed chiefly of fat, this ingredient amounting to fully 50 percent and often a larger percentage of the total weight.

The next most important ingredient is the protein or nitrogenous elements, including the theobromine and caffeine, which exist in small quantities in the bean.

Starches and sugars together form from 20 to 25 percent of the weight of the bean.

In round numbers the ash amounts to 4 percent and the theobromine to about 1 percent.

Various analysts, however, give very wide differences in the content of theobromine, some rising to as much as 2.5 percent and others falling to as little as five-tenth of 1 percent.

From the above data it will be seen that chocolate has a real food value.

The chief food value of the cocoa beams resides of course in the fat. Owing to the high caloric power of fat, cocoa furnished a very large amount of heat and energy. The digestible protein and the starch and sugar add no mean value to cocoa as a food.

In as much as the whole mass is mixed with the drink, all of the nutrient portions become available for the sustenance of the body.
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If in the preparation of the beverage milk and sugar are added the food value of course, is increased to that degree.

Theobromine, which is the principal active alkaloid of the cacao bean, is much less objectionable if foods that its first cousin, caffeine.

Theobromine and its isomer, theophyllin, do not exert so powerful a stimulating influence as caffeine, and hence for this reason cocoa is preferable to tea or coffee.
Composition of Cocoa Bean
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