Friday, January 1, 2010



Among the world’s most mystical and wonderful trees is the cocoa tree. Its class theobroma cacao, normally construed, “food of the gods” or factually. “God food.” Theobroma class has many associates, like astheobroma but only theobroma is used for the production of chocolate.

The father of modern day taxonomic plant Carolus Linnaeus categorized theobroma cacao to be related to cocoa tree. Its name was released in his form work Systema Naturae in the mid-1700s. While cocoa trading is hardly available at that time, it may be more than a chance that he applied such a name to a plant that would have such a considerable future in world history.

Cacao is naturally known as raw chocolate. The seeds of a fruit of an Amazonian tree that was brought to Central America during or before the time of the Olmecs. Cacao beans were so revered by the Mayans and Aztecs that they used them as money!

In 1753 Carl con Linnaeus, a Swedish scientist believed that cacao was so essential that he named the genus and of this tree himself. He named this tree: Theobroma cacao, which literally means "cacao, the food of the gods."

Cacao beans contains no sugar and has 12% and 50% fat depending on its assortments and growth progress. There were no proofs to associate cacao bean ingestion with fatness.

Cacao appears to be the principal source of magnesium and sulfur, the reason why majority of women long for chocolate in their monthly menstrual period. Magnesium balances brain chemistry, constructs stout bones, and is coupled with extra happiness. Magnesium is the most scarce key mineral on the Standard American Diet (SAD)- over 80% of Americans are constantly scarce in Magnesium.

Cacao is excellent in the beauty mineral sulfur. Sulfur develops tough nails, hair, shiny skin, detoxifies the liver, which assist healthy pancreas performance. Subjective statements point out that cacao detoxifies mercury since it is so abundant in sulfur.

Cacao has slight quantity of natural caffeine and theobromine. However, studies have revealed that these tonics are far taken raw than cooked.

Cacao appears to reduce hunger, possibly because of its monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors (MAO inhibitors). These are different from digestive enzyme inhibitors seen in most nuts and seeds. MAO inhibitors facilitate being youth and transformation.

Phenylethylamine (PEA) is seen in chocolate. PEA is an adrenal-related substance that is also formed inside the brain and discharged as person get in love. This is one of the causes why love and chocolate have a profound connection. PEA as well performs a function in raising concentration and attentiveness.

A neurotransmitter known as anandamide has been extracted in cacao. Anandamide is also generated naturally in the brain. Anandamide is identified as the 'Bliss Chemical' because it is discharged while the person is feeling great. Cacao has enzyme inhibitors that reduce human body’s capability to crackdown anandamide. This implies that the normal or cacao anandamide may attach around longer, letting as person feels better whenever it consumes cacao.

Current research stated that a ratio of 1:500 people who believe they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive. Allergies to chocolate are quite rare. It is classically that the person is in fact allergic to milk and dairy products.

Cacao tree is very fragile and susceptible. It requires safety from wind and needs an adequate volume of shade under most circumstance. This is real particularly in its first two to four years of development.

With pruning and cautious farming, the trees of most strains will start bearing fruit in the fifth year. With great attention, some strains can be persuaded to generate good harvest in the third and fourth years.

The tree has huge silky leaves that are red when novel and green when adult. The tree shoots thousands of small waxy pink or white five-petalled blossoms that arrange mutually on the stem and older branches. But only 3 to 10 percent will goes on to mature into full fruit.

The fruit has a green or sometimes maroon colored pods on the stalk of the tree and its main branches. Formed fairly similar to an stretched melon tapered at both ends, these pods regularly ripen into a golden color or occasionally take on a scarlet shade with multicolored spots.

In its maturity, the nurtured tree measures from 15 to 25 feet tall, though the tree in its wild state may reach 60 feet or more.

The job of picking ripe cacao pods is not a simple one. The tree is so weak and its roots are so thin that workmen could risk injuring it by climbing to reach the pods on the higher branches.

The planter dispatches his pickers into the fields with long-handled, mitten-shaped steel knives that can reach the highest pods and snip them without cutting the supple bark of the tree. Machetes are used for the pods growing within reach on the lower trunk.

Gatherers follow the harvesters who have extracted the ripe pods from the trees. The pods are gathered in baskets and carried to the edge of a field where the pod breaking procedure starts. One or two length-wise blows from a well-wielded machete are usually enough to split open the woody shells. A good breaker can open 500 pods an hour.

A great deal of patience is needed to finish harvesting. Anywhere from 20 to 50 cream-colored beans are scooped from a typical pod and the husk and the inside membrane are disposed.

Dried beans from a regular pod weigh less than two ounces, and around 400 beans are needed to come up with one pound of chocolate. Depiction to air rapidly alters the cream-colored beans to a lavender or purple. They do not look like the finished chocolate nor do they have the well-known fragrance of chocolate at this time.

The cocoa beans or seeds that are extracted from the pods are put into boxes or thrown on heaps and covered. Around the beans is a layer of pulp that starts to heat up and ferment. Fermentation lasts from three to nine days and serves to take off the raw bitter tang of cocoa and to develop precursors and components that are characteristic of chocolate flavor

Like any moisture-filled fruit, the beans must be dried if they are to keep. In some countries, drying is simply done by placing the beans on trays or bamboo matting and leaving them to relax in the sun. When damp climate situation hinder with sun-drying, artificial ways are applied. For instance, the beans can be carried indoors and dried by hot-air pipes.

With beneficial climate the drying procedure typically takes several days. In this gap, farmers turn the beans regularly and use the occasion to pick them over for foreign matter and flat, broken or germinated beans. During drying, beans lose nearly all their moisture and more than half their weight.

Once dried, the beans can be sold. Buyers taste the class of the crop by cutting open a number of beans to see that they are accurately fermented. Purple centers signify incomplete fermentation.

The beans are sold in international markets. African countries harvest about two-thirds of the total world output; Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Nigeria, and Cameroon are the leading African cocoa producers. Most of the remainder comes from South American countries, chiefly Brazil and Ecuador. The crop is traded on international commodity futures markets. Attempts by producing countries to stabilize prices through international agreements have had little success.


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