Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)
Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

Herbs - Medicinal Plants

Cocoa. Properties, content.

What is cocoa?. Cocoa Properties. Scientific name. Identification, origin, content and active ingredients. Plant, leaves, fruit and cocoa beans.


Identification and origin of Cocoa

Cocoa
Cocoa fruit and beans

Scientific name: Theobroma cacao


Cocoa is a small tree of 6-8 m, with bushy branches, elliptic leaves - oblong to obovate - oblongs, from 15-30 cm, abruptly acuminate. It has small inflorescences, on the trunk and branch, pink calyx 6-7 cm and yellow petals. Fruit ovoid - oblong, lined, rough, with ovoid seeds. Are used the dried and roasted seeds.

The cocoa plant was known by pre-Columbian cultures of Central America and its origin is attributed to Mexico, extending to the entire Amazon basin.
It is cultivated in all tropical regions.

Content and active ingredients of Cocoa

The Cocoa´s principal active ingredients are the alkaloids, xanthine derivatives with a total content between 3 and 4%.

The most abundant is the theobromine (2.8 - 3.5%) and a lesser amount of caffeine (0.1 to 0.4%).
Fat (50%): oleic fatty acids (33-39%), stearic (30-37%) and palmitic (24-31%).
Protein substances (10-16%),
Starch (5 to 9%)
Sugars (2 to 4%): sucrose, glucose and fructose.
Biogenic amines: include phenylethylamine, tyramine, tryptamine, serotonin.
10% cathechic tannins.

 

 >> continue reading about the Cocoa benefits for health...

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What is cocoa?. Cocoa Properties. Scientific name. Identification, origin, content and active ingredients. Plant, leaves, fruit and cocoa beans.