Journal of Food Measurement and Characterization

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 1721–1728 | Cite as

Polyphenols, methylxanthines, fatty acids and minerals in cocoa beans and cocoa products

  • Melania Grassia
  • Giancarlo Salvatori
  • Maria Roberti
  • Diego Planeta
  • Luciano CinquantaEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, the nutritional profile and some health benefit of three cocoa bean samples of different origins, including Perù, Ecuador (Criollo) and Ghana (Hybrid) and five samples of cocoa products from Criollo variety at different percentage of cocoa solids (from 70 to 100%), are investigated. The Ecuadorian beans were of the same batch used to obtain the chocolate samples (70% cocoa solids) by processing without conching. All samples were analyzed for their proximate composition, mineral content, fatty acids, total polyphenols, catechin, epicathechin theobromine and caffeine. Fatty acid profiles of the cocoa products were quite similar to those obtained in cocoa beans. The atherogenicity index in chocolate samples (0.71–0.82%) was slightly higher than the recommended values (0.50%). Among the minerals provided by chocolate that contribute most significantly to daily adequate intake, were magnesium (47–85% per 100 g for adult females) and phosphorus (39–75% per 100 g for all adults). Non-fat cocoa solids value was not correlated to flavonoid content on chocolate product labels. The two chocolate products processed at low temperatures are corresponding to the extreme values of solid cocoa concentrations (70 and 100%); nevertheless, they contained the highest amount of phenolic compounds, ranging from 13.0 to 16.7 mg/g, as compared to samples with 75, 78 and 85% of solid cocoa. Modicana chocolate (70% solid cocoa), obtained without conching, showed the highest content of epicatechin (6.5 mg/g), with a reduction of about 36% compared with raw beans. The highest content of theobromine was detected in the samples with 100% solid cocoa (14.9 mg/g) and similar result was obtained for caffeine (0.48 mg/g).


Cocoa Chocolate Epicatechin Minerals Theobromine 



  1. 1.
  2. 2.
  3. 3.
    D.L. Katz, K. Doughty, A. Ali, Ant. Redox Signal. 15, 2779–2811 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A.B. Shumacher, A. Brandelli, F.C. Macedo, L. Pieta, T.V. Klug, E.V. De Jong, J. Food Sc. Technol. 47, 202–206 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    L. Abecia-Soria, N.H. Pezoa-Garcia, J. Amaya-Farfan, J. Food Sc. 70, 294–298 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    L. Cinquanta, C. Di Cesare, R. Manoni, A. Piano, P. Roberti, G. Salvatori, Intern. J. Food Sc. Nutr. 67, 773–778 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    I. Andújar, M.C. Recio, R.M. Giner, J.L. Rìos, Oxid. Med. Cell. Longev. 1–23 (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    V. Kemsawasda, P. Chaikham, P. Rattanasena, Food Biosc. 16, 37–43 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    G. Li, D. Ma, Y. Zhang, W. Zheng, P. Wang, Public Health Nutr. 16, 1–12 (2012)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R. Franco, A. Oñatibia-Astibia, E. Martínez-Pinilla, Nutrients 5, 4159–4173 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    M.E. Alañón, S.M. Castle, P.J. Siswanto, T. Cifuentes-Gómez, J.P. Spencer, Food Chem. 208, 177–184 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    N. Neufingerl, Y.E. Zebregs, E.A. Schuring, E.A. Trautwein, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 97, 1201–1209 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    J. Mursu, S. Voutilainen, T. Nurmi, T.H. Rissanen, J.K. Virtanen, J. Kaikkonen, K. Nyyssönen, J.T. Salonen, Free Rad. Biol. & Med. 37, 1351–1359 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    S. Desch, J. Schmidt, D. Kobler, M. Sonnabend, I. Eitel, M. Sareban, K. Rahimi, G. Schuler, H. Thiele, Am. J. of Hypert. 23, 97–103 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    L. Hooper, C. Kay, A. Abdelhamid, P.A. Kroon, J.S. Cohn, E.B. Rimm, A. Cassidy, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 95, 740–751 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    S. Ellinger, A. Reusch, P. Stehle, H.P. Helfrich, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 95, 1365–1377 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    G. Desideri, C. Kwik-Uribe, D. Grassi, S. Necozione, L. Ghiadoni, D. Mastroiacovo, e al., Hypert. 60, 794–801 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    O.A. Tokede, J.M. Gaziano, L. Djousse, Eur. J. Clin. Nutr. 65, 879–886 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    D.T. Field, C.M. Williams, L.T. Butler, Phys. & Beh. 103, 255–260 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    L. Fernandez-Murga, J.J. Tarin, M.A. Garcia-Perez, A. Cano, Maturitas 69, 312–321 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    A. Alkerwil, N. Sauvageot, G.E. Crichton, M.F. Elias, S. Stranges, Br. J. Nutr. 115, 1661–1668 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    S. Yuan, X. Li, Y. Jin, J. Lu, Nutrients. 9, 688 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    C. Di Mattia, M. Martuscelli, G. Sacchetti, B. Beheydt, D. Mastrocola, P. Pittia, Food Res. Intern. 63, 367–372 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    AOAC, Official Methods of Analysis. (Association of Official Analytical Chemists, International Cacao beans and its products. Arlington, VA, 1995)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    AOAC International Official Methods of Analysis. (Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, Washington, DC, 1990)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    AOAC Official Methods of Analysis. (Association Analytical Chemists, Gaithersberg, MD, 2016)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    T. Ulbricht, D. Southgate, Coronary heart disease: seven dietary factors. Lancet. 338, 985–992 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    L. Cinquanta, D. Albanese, A. Fratianni, G. La Fianza, M. Di Matteo, Agro Food Ind. Hi-Tech 24, 35–38 (2013)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    M. Torres-Moreno, E. Torrescasana, J. Salas-Salvadò, C. Blanch, Food Chem. 166, 125–132 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    M. Lipp, C. Simoneau, F. Ulbert, E. Anklam, C. Crews, P. Brereton et al., J. Food Comp. Anal. 14, 399–408 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    A. Bonanome, S.M. Grundy, The New Engl. J. Med. 318, 1244–1248 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    T. O’Callaghan, H. Faulkner, S. McAuliffe, M.G. O’Sullivan, P. Dillon, P. Kieran et al., J. Dairy Sc. 99, 9441–9460 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    S. Ivanova, S. Eneva-Stoicheva, C. Dimitrova-Hristova, Int. J. Adv. Res. 6, 709–712 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    E.L. Ding, S.M. Hutfless, X. Ding, S. Girotra, Nutr. & Met. 3, 1–5 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    D. Bertoldi, A. Barbero, F. Camina, A. Caligiani, R. Larchera. Food Contr. 65, 46–53 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    EFSA supporting publication, Dietary reference values for nutrients: Summary report. (IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb, 2017) (Accessed 9/0818)
  37. 37.
    A.C. Ross, B. Caballero, R.J. Cousins, K.L. Tucker, T.R. Ziegler, Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 11th edn. (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, by Mass, Baltimore, 2012), pp. 159–175Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    L.C. Del Gobbo, F. Imamura, J.H. Wu, M.C. de O. Otto, S.E.D. Chiuve, Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 98, 160–173 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    E. Planells, R. Monserrat, J. Carbonell, J. Mataix, J. Llopis, J. Agr. Food Chem. 45, 4017–4022 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Y. Hua, S. Clark, J. Ren, N. Sreejayan, J. Nutr. Biochem. 23, 313–319 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    R. Paoletti et al., Chocolate and health. Ed. by Springer-Verlag Italia Srl. (Milano, 2012), pp. 63–75Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Y. Katsuhiko, A. Konomi, M. Otag, Br. J. Nutr. 102, 215–220 (2009)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    L. Schomburg, J. Köhrle, Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 52, 1235–1246 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    S. Langer, L.J. Marshall, A.J. Day, M.R. Morgan, J. Agric. Food Chem. 59, 8435–8441 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    A. Kerimi, G. Williamson, Vasc. Pharm. 71, 11–15 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    H.J. Smit, E.A. Gaffan, P.J. Rogers, Psychopharmacology 176, 412–419 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melania Grassia
    • 1
  • Giancarlo Salvatori
    • 2
  • Maria Roberti
    • 3
  • Diego Planeta
    • 4
  • Luciano Cinquanta
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Agricoltura, Ambiente e AlimentiUniversità del MoliseCampobassoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze della Salute’’V. Tiberio’’Università del MoliseCampobassoItaly
  3. 3.ARPAm MoliseCampobassoItaly
  4. 4.Dipartimento Scienze Agrarie, Alimentari e ForestaliUniversità di Palermo, Viale delle ScienzePalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations