Learn About Cacao

Cacao and natural immunity

Cacao and natural immunity

8 beans per day keeps the doctor away Have you ever heard the saying 8 cacao beans per day keeps the doctor away? The reason for this is that Cacao and the many products derived from the Theobroma cacao tree contains high levels of antioxidant molecules that can protect our body from cellular damage and boost our immune system1. What are antioxidants? Why do we really need them? And do all antioxidants have equal effects? All these questions will hopefully be answered by looking at the body and how it changes with cacao. When we eat, we break down our...

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Mental Health and Cacao

Mental Health and Cacao

Mental health disorders are New Zealand’s third leading cause of health loss with conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and attention deficit disorders (ADD) affecting a large portion of people1-4. One in six people or 16.6% of the population (650,000 adults) will experience a common mental disorder at some time in their lives that will drastically impact on the health and well-being4. Socio-economically deprived New Zealanders, women, and Māori all have higher rates of mental health-related issues4. Studies have shown that the biggest barrier to people seeking help is fear of how they will be perceived within...

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The Cacao Industry Explained

The Cacao Industry Explained

Cacao is one of the world’s most valuable crops with the global cacao and chocolate industry being worth billions of dollars per year1,2. As of 2019, Cote D’Ivoire produces the most cacao beans in the world at over 2 million metric tons, followed by Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria and Cameroon3. Together, Africa makes up more than 60% of cacao production with over 80% of the world’s cacao produced being the hardier Forastero cacao3–5. The biggest importers of cacao are the Netherlands, Germany, the U.S., Malaysia and Belgium, some of whom are also the greatest exporters of chocolate5. Cacao can also be...

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Cadmium in Cacao

Cadmium in Cacao

Cacao is an all-natural health food that can benefit our bodies in many ways. From supporting our natural immunity and cardiovascular health to enhancing our cognitive function and boosting energy levels, cacao is a powerhouse of natural bioactive compounds and nutrients. However, there are growing concerns surrounding cadmium content in cacao and the potential risks to our health from this. What are the risks of cadmium exposure? Cadmium is a non-essential heavy metal that is toxic to humans and exposure to cadmium can have major impacts on human health by damaging our immune system, disrupting our endocrine system, increasing oxidative...

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Cacao vs Cocoa

Cacao vs Cocoa

Cacao beans must undergo several processes after harvesting before they are ready to be made into different products. After harvesting, the cacao beans are allowed to undergo a fermentation process. This process is necessary for the development of the colour and flavour of the cacao, as well as the bioactive compounds, including flavonoids and antioxidants. The cacao beans are then allowed to dry out thoroughly. Once the cacao beans have finished fermenting and drying, they are ready to be made into many products, such as cacao nibs, cacao paste, cacao butter and cacao powder. An optional step is to heat...

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Different Types of Cacao Product

Different Types of Cacao Product

Cacao beans that have been harvested, fermented and thoroughly dried are ready to be processed into a variety of different products. These cacao-based products can each be used in many different ways. They can also be processed further in other ways, such as by undergoing roasting or other heat-treatment in preparation for chocolate-making or other cocoa-based products. Cacao Nibs Cacao nibs are made from fermented and dried cacao beans, which are de-hulled then broken into smaller pieces. As they contain the whole cacao bean, they are packed with plenty of antioxidants and bioactive compounds and possess the full flavour the...

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