What is Cocoa Powder?
Cocoa, cocoa butter and milk (for milk chocolate) are the main ingredients in nutrition of chocolate. The cocoa bean is the basic ingredient of chocolate, it is the heart of chocolate. It is the seed of the fruit of the cocoa tree and contains 54% fat, 31% carbohydrate, 11% protein, 3% polyphenols, and less than 1% minerals.
How to make Cocoa Powder?
At first the cocoa bean is fermented, roasted and grounded, then it is pressed into cocoa powder and cocoa butter.
The benefits of Cocoa Powder and products from it
The cocoa powder is the latest product from a pressing and extraction process of cocoa bean which removes a significant portion of the fat or cocoa butter from it. It is a source of polyphenols and minerals (iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper) it also contains a small amount of protein which are made up of the amino acids including arginine, glutamine and leucine.
Cocoa butter is the natural fat in the cocoa bean. In general, about 37.5% of the fat within cocoa butter is unsaturated fat and about 61.4% is saturated fat. And, the triglyceride composition of the fat is important because the fatty acid is mostly absorbed by the body, compared with the other fatty acids.
The milk chocolate contains all important nutrients for strong bones and strong teeth, for cardiovascular health – calcium, potassium and magnesium. Milk is also a source of high quality proteins.
More about Cocoa Powder
It is the material of cocoa bean, which is usually pressed in the form of chocolate liquor. This liquor contains no alcohol, but is simply the roasted cocoa bean material that is finely ground and refined into a paste that becomes fluid at temperatures above 40°C. After pressing it the resulting material is called “cocoa press cake” and contains about 10-12% of cocoa butter, reduced from approximately 54% cocoa butter.
There are two types of Cocoa Powder – natural and alkalized. Natural cocoa powder is made with no additional modifications, only pressed cocoa beans and it usually has a light brown color. Alkalized cocoa powder, also referred as Dutched, is made from cocoa nibs and/or chocolate liquor treated with mild alkali solutions to raise the pH. Alkalizing is used to modify the color, taste, and functionality of cocoa powder in food products. It is safe and approved. Alkalization can also be used to create a variety of dark brown and red-brown colors to add desirable appearances to some food products. Alkalization can reduce some of the sourness and bitterness which improves the taste of chocolate and improve the solubility of cocoa powder in certain beverage applications.