Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chocolate Processed With Alkali?

Looking at labels, it is easy to come by the phrases “chocolate processed with alkali” or “dutched cocoa”, but what, exactly, do those mean? Alkalization is a process in which cocoa nibs/chocolate liquor are processed with a basic compound to increase pH which results in less bitter taste, more soluble cocoa product, and chocolate’s dark-brown hue. This process may be very beneficial for selling the product; however, it removes some of the heart-protective flavanol antioxidants that are naturally in cocoa. In terms of receiving health benefits, when shopping for chocolate and/or cocoa try to aim for products that are at least 70% cocoa and do not have “dutched” or “cocoa processed with alkali” on the labels.

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