Dark Chocolate: When Science Meet Industry (1)

Science bring good news for all chocolate lover

1 November 2004, Elsevier published a “good news” paper titled “Dark chocolate consumption increases HDL cholesterol concentration and chocolate fatty acids may inhibit lipid peroxidation in healthy humans.” Contrary to popular misconception, scientist proof that eating lots of chocolate does not raise blood cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains stearic acid, which is a neutral fat that does not raise bad cholesterol (LDL: Lower Density Lippo Protein). The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat. This is the same type of fat found in olive oil that may actually raise good cholesterol (HDL: High Density Lipoprotein).

When  science meet industry

Dark chocolate comes only from cocoa beans (cocoa butter and non-fat cocoa solids), this is helps you to lower bad
cholesterol (LDL) and helps you maintain  healthy cholesterol (HDL). Money talks, cocoa butter is EXPENSIVE.  Industry does not like this,   many companies substitute vegetable fat (usually palm kernel oil) for cocoa butter, which raises the melting temperature above body temperature, thus the chocolate does not melt in your mouth creating a way texture and an overly sweet taste. Not only the matter of the expensive cocoa butter, dark chocolate must be tempered, and tempering takes time, cost money, and requires expertise. Making and transporting dark chocolate requires the extra cost that associated with climate controlled distribution. Palm kernel and other vegetable oil raise the melting temperature of chocolate, therefore, the companies can save money by not using climate control trucking.

Different from cocoa butter, vegetable fats have disadvantages that go beyond flavor. They are unhealthy saturated fat that may raise bad cholesterol (LDL), outweighing the natural benefits of the cocoa bean. Replacing the neutral fat cocoa butter with palm kernel oil cancels out the cholesterol-lowering  benefist in the non-fat cocoa solids.

Be careful when you choose your dark chocolate, make sure it is not a fake dark chocolate! CHECK THE LABEL!  If vegetable fat coatings are used, the ingredients list must state “chocolaty” or “chocolate flavored coating and vegetable oil”. Sometimes the listing will illegally state dark chocolate coating.   In this case, you have to check the ingredients, if it is  include  vegetable fats (palm oil, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, etc.) it is not a real-health dark chocolate.

Finally, whatever is it, don’t share your chocolate with your cat! It can be poisoning for them  😦

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24 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate: When Science Meet Industry (1)

  1. Took my Son to Hershey’s couple of years back & saw the entire chocolate making process first hand. But I guess there’s always something new to know, didn’t know about artificial dark chocolate. Thanks for shedding light on that. 🙂

  2. OR … make your own and go to small high quality niche suppliers whom you know. This way you know where the cocoa comes from and exactly what goes into it. Patric here in MO is one very fine supplier.

  3. This is great information! I love dark chocolate and seeing that it is good for us is even better. I have made chocolate at home and it is amazing. Takes some time and patience but it is totally worth it!

  4. Pingback: Dark Chocolate: When Science Meet Industry (1) « kofegeek | Information About Chocolate

  5. Dark chocolate makes me happy.
    Being happy is good for your health.
    Ergo: dark chocolate is good for your health.

    That’s my motto! 😉

  6. *Real* dark chocolate is well worth the hunting and the expense! And I think I’d still say that even if it were terrible for me. Some things are worth the ‘suffering’! 🙂

  7. Very interesting post! The ususal problem of people trying to cut corners and make things cheaper while saying they are top quality. What I need to do is buy lots of dark chocolate and taste test it all so I can find out which is the healthiest….sounds good! 😉

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