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History of cocoaHealth benefits

Growing cocoa
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Cocoa research & development

Over recent years, much scientific and medical attention has been focused on antioxidants and polyphenols which are found in plants.  Cocoa has emerged as one of the most potent sources of antioxidants and polyphenols with around 12-16% of the weight of dry raw cocoa beans consisting of polyphenols alone.

The strength of antioxidants in foods is expressed as the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units per 100g. This figure is a “test tube” measurement of the ability of a food extract to inhibit the oxidative potential in a model system in which free radicals are generated. It does not represent what actually happens in a working biological system and does not take into consideration the bio-availability of the particular food or sample being examined. However, it is a methodology which provides a comparative measure of the antioxidant potential of foods, extracts etc in vitro from various sources.

The table below shows the ORAC values of cocoa and chocolate products compared to other popular sources of antioxidants:


Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
49,944 Baking chocolate pieces (unsweetened)
40,200 Dutched chocolate powder
20,816 Dark chocolate
18,053 Semi-sweet chocolate
9,090 Cranberries
7,519 Milk chocolate
4,669 Blueberries


Red wine
3,290 Goji berry
1,837 Red grapes

Source: Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2
Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - May 2010

Recent studies have demonstrated cocoa derived nutrients including polyphenols and flavanols, possess properties which may improve eye and brain function, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  Significant research is continuing into the broad therapeutic qualities of cocoa and coco-derived products including chocolate.

Check our News page for the latest breakthroughs in cocoa and chocolate research.

Daintree Estates is continuously exploring how cocoa can best be utilised for its unique properties and will continue to develop new and improved products to fully capitalise on those breakthroughs for your benefit and enjoyment.



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