Cocoa is the powder extracted from the fully fermented bean of Cocoa plant. Apart from Cocoa powder Cocoa butter and Cocoa solids are also extracted from the beans. Cocoa bean is the basis for chocolate. The seeds that are fairly white to pale lavender colour are securely embedded in a pod. The white seeds gradually turn brown or violet during the drying process.
There are three main varieties of cocoa plant: Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first variety is widely used covering 95% of the world’s production. Criollo is regarded as the highest quality of cocoa beans and is considered a delicacy. However, Criollo has lower crop yield compared to the first quality because of its low resistance against pests. Trinto is a hybrid between the first two varieties, and it is considered to have a higher quality than the first two varieties and is more disease resistant.
Cocoa powder imparts a rich flavour of chocolate wherever used.
1. Cocoa and its by-products are a rich source of anti-oxidants that impart anti-aging properties.
2. Theobromine is a chemical compound found in Cocoa that treats depression.
3. Consumption of raw cocoa reduces the risk of cancer.
Did you know?
Cocoa plants are only grown in a limited geographic zone.
Cocoa or chocolate was used a romantic gesture in the Mayan culture.