Reasons to grow & eat more....
⚡️It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate. (Wow!)
⚡️Each cacao tree produces approximately 2,500 beans. ⚡️The cacao bean is full of antioxidants, fat, carbohydrates, protein, polyphenols like flavonoids cacao nutrition that are antioxidants, minerals like calcium, magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, zinc and potassium, oleic acid which is a heart-healthy essential monounsaturated fat, fiber and vitamins E, B2, B1, B5, B3 and B9.
⚡️Health benefits of cocoa include relief from high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, constipation, diabetes, bronchial asthma, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various neurodegenerative diseases. It is beneficial for quick wound healing, skin care, and it helps to improve cardiovascular and brain health. It also helps in treating copper deficiency. It possesses mood-enhancing properties and exerts protective effects against neurotoxicity. ??❤️
Fig. 3. Production process scheme and system boundaries of the LCA of 1 kg of dark chocolate (RM: Roasting and milling; RMP: roasting, milling and pressing; Conching: mixing, refining and conching; TP: tempering, molding, cooling and packing; EOL; end-of-life).(FROM STUDY: FROM BEANS TO BAR: A LIFE CYCLE ASSESSMENT TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE CHOCOLATE SUPPLY CHAIN)
- “A first remarkable cause of environmental impacts is the transportation of cocoa beans along global distances. Trans-oceanic ship transportation is responsible for about 14% of total [ocean] acidification, mainly due to the sulfur dioxide emitted by ships.”
- Cocoa from Indonesia had the highest sourcing impact on global warming and “human, freshwater and terrestrial eco-toxicity … mainly due to the direct field emissions caused by the large use of fertilizers.”
- “The production of sugar causes the highest contributions to photochemical oxidation [smog] due to the carbon monoxide emissions from pre-harvest burning of a sugar cane field.”
- Energy-intensive chocolate manufacturing causes 22% of global warming impacts.
- Packaging, specifically, has significant impacts on global warming, photochemical oxidation, and acidification as a result of the heat and electricity required by the packaging production process.
Theobroma cacao is characterized by three main cacao cultivars: Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario. It is one of the world’s most valuable crops, cultivated worldwide on 8.2 million hectares, grown in 58 countries, and worth over US$4 billion annually. Cacao is a well-adapted agro-forestry plantation crop grown in hot, rainy climates with cultivation concentrated in a band between 0 to 20 degrees north and south of the Equator, sometimes called the “Cacao Belt”. Economic cacao cultivars are grown for the production of dried beans, which are the source of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, and cocoa powder. Cacao is a fast growing tropical forest plant, capable of being cultivated in association with other trees, and providing additional goods like timber and firewood, fruits, construction materials, honey, resin, medicine and materials for ritual ceremonies. The ecological impact of the different cacao cultivation systems is discussed. The focus is on practices that conserve biological hotspots, protect the environment, promote global carbon sequestration, cause no health problems and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole. These include the care of the different growth cycles in cacao plantations, realized according to the principles of Best Agricultural Practices for well-adopted sustainable ecological cacao growing systems. The cacao chain extends from the selection of cacao areas to post-harvest management. Traditional and modern methods of cacao harvest and post-harvest treatments, roasting and chocolate preparation are analyzed. New trends, such as single-origin chocolate and recognition of the beneficial properties of the powerful antioxidants from cocoa phytochemicals are presented, as well as the wide diversity in preparation techniques for modern hot and cool cocoa drinks and culinary applications.
Theobroma cacao belongs to the family of Malvaceae (alternatively Sterculiaceae). All cultivated species originate from America. Cacao is one of the world’s most valuable crops, playing an important role in the social and economic life of more than 5 million households, and affecting 25 million people in poor rural areas. Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Brazil are the most important cacao producers (Table 1). The cacao tree and its product cocoa have been harvested and used by indigenous people of Central and South America for thousands of years. Cocoa beans were introduced to Europe during the 16th century. The technology to separate cocoa butter.
The first outsider to drink chocolate was Christopher Columbus, who reached Nicaragua in 1502 searching for a sea route to the spices of the East. Moctezuma II, the Aztec Emperor (1465-1520), greeted Hernando Cortés and his army in 1519 with a chocolate drink, most probably a gesture of friendship since cacao was a drink for nobles, warriors, and traders. According to Bernal Díaz the chocolate was served to Moctezuma in vessels of pure gold and eaten with a golden spoon. In the markets, there were sellers of fine chocolate drinks which were made with honey, flowers, vanilla, and even pepper. This chocolate was made from ground cacao seeds with added seasonings and was a spicy, and frothy.