Organic Cacao - Certified Organic, Raw, Kosher

By: Navitas Naturals  09-12-2011
Keywords: Chocolate, Vitamin, vitamin c

Cacao (kə-kau, ka-kow):

the dried seeds of a South American evergreen tree (Theobroma cacao of the family Sterculiaceae), which are most commonly used in making cocoa, chocolate, and cocoa butter. Also called cacao bean, and cocoa bean.

The Truth About Vitamin C In Cacao:

Despite the popular reports circulating the internet, the honest truth remains: even when processed at low temperatures (i.e. "raw"), there is no vitamin C (ascorbic acid) present in cacao.

Recently, highly trafficked websites such as TodayShow.com and MSNBC.com have highlighted the misinformation of cacao’s supposed vitamin C content. Included in these reports are claims that raw cacao is “extraordinarily high in vitamin C.”

Back in 2004, our Navitas Naturals lab tests directly looked for vitamin C content in raw cacao, but came up negative. Despite these results, the current media blitz brought us back again for another round of lab testing of our best-selling raw cacao products (beans, nibs and powder) for vitamin C. This time, we used two different laboratories instead of one, and utilized three different analytical methods: High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Capilary Electrophoresis (CE) with UV detection, and Titration.

Though all three methods have their place in the scientific community, Titration is the most commonly used method in the food industry when determining vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content. However, there is a critical detail within the Titration method many companies miss when testing raw cacao. The method of Titration is unable to differentiate the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) from the vitamin’s analogs. The result is what is known as a "false positive."

This is why, at Navitas Naturals, we use HPLC when testing raw cacao’s vitamin C content. The HPLC method looks directly for vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and not just the analogs. Additionally, after sending samples of our products to another lab to test using the CE method, the reports returned consistent the HPLC results.

We have now also tested one of the largest raw cacao brands in the United States using the Titration and HPLC methods. And yet again the results confirm our previous conclusion that raw cacao has no vitamin C (ascorbic acid) present.

Cacao is a tremendously beneficial superfood, containing a wide spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients. It is important to be clear however, vitamin C is not amongst these nutrients.

Food of the Gods

Cacao has long been enjoyed for its healthful and invigorating properties in Mexican, Central, and South American cultures. In fact, Mayan civilizations associated cacao with the food that their gods chose to consume and thrive upon. So impressed were the Mayans with cacao’s taste (and its ability to promote energy), that cacao paste was frequently used in sacred rituals, with an annual festival held devoted entirely to honoring the “cacao god.” Today, we continue to celebrate the bean of the cacao plant as the nutritional and flavorful source for all chocolate and cocoa products.

The Power of Cacao

Cacao contains a naturally rich supply of antioxidants, and is also an excellent source of dietary fiber. In addition, cacao is known to be one of the highest dietary sources of magnesium, contains an impressively high iron content, and also possesses many other essential minerals in significant quantities.

For the Love of Chocolate

Ask most people to think about chocolate, and watch a smile instantly appear. Being the ingredient that all chocolate is made from, raw cacao can take commercialized “chocolate” to a whole new level through the alchemy of homemade chocolate confections. Great for both the true chocolateer and health seeker alike, try raw cacao paired with sweet foods of any kind (including raw nectars and syrups, dried fruit, or as a special addition to a dessert recipe) and experience cacao’s beloved chocolate intensity instantly come to life.

Keywords: Ascorbic Acid, Cacao, Chocolate, Vitamin, vitamin c

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