The world of chocolate

Everything you always wanted to know about chocolate !

The cacao tree and its fruit
The history of chocolate
How is chocolate made?
Random facts about chocolate

Random facts about chocolate

More than a food: chocolate as health and beauty aid
Theobromine, a chemical found in chocolate, enlarges blood vessels and is used to treat high blood pressure. In addition, cocoa butter is used in cosmetics and ointments - and even as a coating for pills. Plus, leftover cocoa shells make good mulch and cattle feed.
Chocolate still plays a part in festive celebrations that are associated with many religious holidays. Most of us expect to eat chocolate in some form near events like Easter, Christmas and Hanukkah. In Mexico in particular, chocolate is used to make offerings during "el Día de los Muertos" (the Day of the Dead festival).

 

Chocolate and its basic composition

Dark chocolate:
Cacao liquor: 45%
Sugar: 45%
Cacao butter: 10%
Milk powder: 0%
Cacao content: 55%
Milk chocolate:
Cacao liquor: 10%
Sugar: 45%
Cacao butter: 25%
Milk powder: 20%
Cacao content: 35%
White chocolate:
Cacao liquor: 0%
Sugar: 45%
Cacao butter: 30%
Milk powder: 25%
Cacao content: 30%

 

Global production
Cacao is grown principally in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia.
8 countries account for 90% of the world cacao production. In order of annual production size, those countries are Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador and Malaysia.

 

Global consumption
The world's leading cocoa bean producers:


Africa

Ivory Coast
Ghana
Cameroon
Nigeria

37.4 %
20.7 %
5 %
4.6 %

Central & South America

Brazil
Ecuador
Dominican Republic

4.5 %
3.4 %
1.4 %

South-east Asia

Indonesia
Malaysia

12.7 %
0.9 %

The world's largest chocolate consumers:

Europe

Belgium
Switzerland
UK
Germany
France
Italy
The Netherlands
Spain

North America

USA
Canada

 

Amazing facts about chocolate and chocolate news

Courtesy of Agence France Presse (AFP)

A similar chemical structure…

but different effects

theobromine

caffeine

gentle

intense

mild effect

strong effect

very slow onset

fast acting

long lasting

rapid dissipation

50% in bloodstream after 6 to 10 hrs

50% in bloodstream after 2 to 5 hrs

mild antidepressant

increases emotional stress

increases feeling of well being

  increases alertness

gentle, smooth, sensual stimulation

jagged, nervous stimulation

stimulates cardiovascular system 

stimulates cardiovascular system

  stimulates muscular system 

stimulates respiratory system

mild effect on central nervous system

strong effect on central nervous system

almost no one is allergic to it

many people are allergic to it

not addictive

physically addictive

no withdrawal symptoms 

many proven withdrawal symptoms

mild diuretic

extreme diuretic

 

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