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Researchers Find More Polyphenols in Cacao Seeds Than Fruit Juice
Posted: February 8, 2011
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The total flavanol content of cocoa powder (30.1 ± 2.8 mg/g) was significantly greater than all of the other fruit powders tested. There were no other statistically significant differences in antioxidant capacity, total polyphenol or total flavanol content between any of the other fruit powders tested. The total flavanol content of dark chocolate (535.6 ± mg/serving) was significantly greater than the cocoa beverage (400 ± 39.5 mg/serving) on a per serving basis, and both dark chocolate and the cocoa beverage had significantly greater total flavanol content than hot cocoa mix, açai, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate juice.
The results of the study demonstrated that cocoa powder has equivalent or significantly higher in vitro antioxidant activity, as measured by ORAC values, compared to the tested fruit powders. Similarly, the TP content of cocoa powder was equivalent to that of the fruit powders and its TF content was significantly higher than that of all the fruit powders tested. On a per serving basis, dark chocolate had a significantly higher ORAC value and TP content than all of the fruit juices other than pomegranate juice. The ORAC value and TP content reported for dark chocolate in the current study are consistent with previously published results.
This research can perhaps guide the formulator in choosing which cacao-derived products to include into their finished products. In addition, it could sway the formulator to choose a cacao seed extract over a fruit extract to deliver antioxidant benefits to the skin.
Additional researchers in the study included: Stephen J. Crozier, Amy G. Preston, W. Jeffrey Hurst, Mark J. Payne, Julie Mann, Larry Hainly and Debra L. Miller. The work was funded by The Hershey Company (Hershey, PA).