What is dark chocolate made of?
1. What is dark chocolate?
Alcohol is further refined to create the cocoa solids and chocolate we eat. After the nib is removed, the cocoa beans are ground into cocoa powder for use in baking or beverages.
Dark chocolate contains 50-90% cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, while milk chocolate contains 10-50% cocoa solids, cocoa butter, some types of milk and sugar. Although dark chocolate must not contain milk, traces of milk may be present due to cross-contamination during processing, as machines are often used together to produce milk and dark chocolate. Lower-quality chocolate may also have added butterfat, vegetable oils, and artificial colors or flavors. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids and is made simply from cocoa butter, sugar and milk.
One tablespoon of cocoa butter oil contains:
8 grams of saturated fat (4.5 grams of which is from stearic acid and 3.5 grams of which is from another saturated fatty acid). 4.5 grams of monounsaturated fat. 0.4 grams of polyunsaturated fat (most of which are omega-6 fatty acids).
2. Dark chocolate and health
Observational studies also concur with the benefits of cocoa flavonoids. The link between blood pressure and high cocoa intake was described in a study of the Kuna Indians, an isolated tribe living on the Caribbean Coast of Panama. Hypertension is extremely rare in this group, even in older individuals, and even with diets higher in salt than most Western populations. As the Kuna migrated to urban environments and changed their diets, their rates of high blood pressure increased. Notably, their traditional cocoa intake is very high, with more than 5 cups a day of either Colombian cocoa powder or home-grown cocoa powder. Urinary levels of flavanols were significantly higher in island-dwelling Kuna, and their rates of death from heart disease, cancer and diabetes were significantly lower than in those living in urban centres.
3. What kind of chocolate should you buy?
Store in a cool dry area (65-70 F) in sealed packaging. Do not refrigerate, as this can promote "re-" butter, a white coating when sugar rises to the surface due to excess moisture. Although this phenomenon does not affect the taste, it does not look appealing.
If stored properly, dark chocolate will keep for up to two years.
To melt: Dark chocolate should be heated gradually to avoid scorching. What does this, you can do on the stove on low heat or in the microwave at 50% power. Break the chocolate into smaller pieces and place in a pan or microwave to heat. Stir constantly (or every minute) to ensure even heat. Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of melted dark chocolate over oatmeal, yogurt, or fresh fruit for a healthy snack.
Since the bitterness increases as the cocoa solids ratio is higher, try taking a small piece and letting it melt slowly in your mouth. This type of eating can provide a different, more enjoyable experience than chewing and swallowing a chocolate bar.
4. Some interesting facts about dark chocolate
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