Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree. Its ingredients generally include cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin and in some cases vegetable fat. Milk and speciality chocolates may have additional ingredients such as milk, fruits and nuts.Know More
The process of creating chocolate is complex. It starts with the harvesting of cocoa beans, which are found in the cocoa tree's fruit, also known as cocoa pods. The beans are taken out of these pods and dried before being shipped to the factory. These are then fermented, roasted and ground to create a liquid called chocolate liquor. This liquid naturally contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Pressure is then applied to the chocolate liquor to remove the cocoa butter, which leaves behind a pressed cake that is cooled and turned into cocoa powder.
Cocoa that is sold at grocery stores and used as a flavor by bakeries contains at least 10 percent cocoa butter. While cocoa is created by removing a percentage of cocoa butter, chocolate for eating is produced by adding it. Cocoa butter is an important ingredient of chocolate and makes about one-fourth of an average chocolate bar. It adds flavor to the chocolate and makes it more fluid.Learn more about Sweets
According to WebMD, dark chocolate is healthier than other forms of chocolate because it lowers high blood pressure, decreases the risk of heart attacks, enhances neurotransmitters that regulate sleep and is a source of antioxidants. However, studies report that these health benefits are negated if too much is consumed at once or the chocolate is eaten with milk.Full Answer >
United States, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium are the top four chocolate-producing countries. One of the most significant cities for the retailing of quality chocolates is New York, where there are chocolate tours around famous chocolate shops such as MarieBelle Fine Chocolates, and Jacques Torres.Full Answer >
Chocolate contains about 380 different known chemicals. One of the most distinctive chemicals in chocolate is theobromine, which is similar in structure to coffee and affects the human body like a weaker form of it. Chocolate also contains phenylethylamine, which is a chemical related to amphetamine, and chemicals that resemble opioids.Full Answer >
Sugar-free chocolate can act as a laxative if large amounts are consumed. This is due to the fact that sugar-free chocolate contains a sugar alcohol called Maltitol that ferments in the intestinal tract and attracts water. The resulting fermentation that attracts water can cause a laxative effect in the form of diarrhea and gas.Full Answer >