Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Difference between Cacao and Cocoa

(Inside a Cacao Pod)

What is the difference between these two? Some might say that it is just a spelling error...indeed it is not! Since I just posted an awesome raw chocolate milkshake using cacao, I thought I better clarify. Here is what I found from There are explanations all over the web, but this one is pretty straight forward, so here you go:

Theobroma cacao (Cacao Tree) is the tree from which the cacao bean comes. Cacao beans are found inside the "fruit" of the tree, pods about the size of a football.

Cocoa is what the beans are called once they have been cleaned, roasted and processed. Cacao is the same bean but still in the raw state, uncooked and unprocessed.

The ORAC (oxygen radical absorbency capacity) value (basically a way to measure antioxidants) breaks down as this, per 100 grams:
1. Raw Cacao powder: 95,500
2. Raw Cacao nibs: 62, 100
3. Roasted COCOA powder: 26,000

Raw cacao is comprised of over 300 compounds including: carbs, protein, fat, fiber, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, calcium and sulfur.

Cacao, once cooked and processed, becomes Cocoa powder and it loses much of its nutritional goodness by the heating process. Once milk is added the antioxidant levels drop dramatically. This is what you find in the popular chocolate bars and candies.

In the United States, cacao is often referred to simply as cocoa, which leads to the confusion as to the difference between the two.

Read this information HERE.

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