Chocolate Facts - F.A.Q.

Our chocolate facts may be a little different from what you find out there on the Internet. We slant our questions and answers toward the healthy side. That is what this site is all about.

If you are looking for facts unrelated to health, just skip this page. If you want to see the healthy side, check out our F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions) below. It can be an eye-opener if you are new to healthy chocolate.

If you have a question about chocolate that you aren't finding the answer to, you can Ask a Question and we'll post the answer for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Are there chocolate warnings I should pay attention to?

Answer: There are two chocolate facts that pertain to healthy eating that I pay attention to:

  1. There are both good microbes that help the body function and bad microbes that cause the body to malfunction. The skins of the raw cacao may contain the bad kind. This happens during the fermenting process of the beans early on.

    So... I just avoid the whole cacao beans with skins on. I found it hard to get certification for the cacao beans with skins on signifying they are free of the bad microbes.

  2. Lead, a poisonous metal, has continued to be found in processed chocolates over the last 10 years. This problem keeps surfacing in the news.

    Two different companies were found to be producing chocolates with inappropriate amounts of lead, causing the California Health Department to ban them.

    Reference: Food Watchdog Detects Lead...

For more information about these two warnings, go to my other article called Facts About Chocolate - then scroll down a little to read the warning part.

Question: Is chocolate addictive?

Answer: This is easier to provide relevant chocolate facts by defining "addictive"

Definition: (Reference: Cambridge | Dictionaries Online)

Addictive

  1. An addictive drug is one which you cannot stop taking once you have started:

    Tobacco is highly addictive.

  2. Describes an activity or food that you cannot stop doing or eating once you have started:

    The problem with video games is that they're addictive.
    These nuts are addictive - I can't stop eating them.

Here's my answer - I have never been addicted to drugs, but I did smoke. It was hard to stop and I found it to be compulsive, meaning hard for me to control.

Now compare this to a time when I actually couldn't control myself when eating a particular food. This was Oreo Cookies. I could eat an entire package of them. (Not good health wise).

Okay, how is this different now when I eat my Cacao Nibs Recipe chocolate treat. I don't overeat. I feel satisfied after eating about 3 oz.

Question: Do cacao beans have to be fermented and roasted to have the real chocolatie flavor?

Answer: There is one strain of cacao bean called Aromica, grown in Equador, that I buy. It was found by David Wolfe, author of the book "Naked Chocolate."

By the way, there are a tremendous amount of chocolate facts you won't find anywhere else. This book is well worth the money if you are truly interested in chocolate.

This particular strain of cacao bean was selected for it's flavor and color which did not need to be roasted to match the fermented and roasted characteristics of the well known chocolate products sold around the world.

I use the Aromica cacao bean in all my healthy chocolate recipes. I find these treats even better than the chocolate deserts my mother use to make. And these are truly good for me.

Question: Do chocolate bars contain microbes?

Answer: There is a possibility but measures are always being taken to ensure the microbes are eliminated.

Because microbes play a major role in changing the raw cacao bean into the chocolate color and flavor used by the chocolate manufacturing giants, there is risk in microbe contamination that must be dealt with.

The roasting of the cacao bean is heated to the point to ensure that all microbes are killed. Even so, strains of bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, coliforms, and Salmonella, have been found in chocolate after the actual roasting.

There are quality control procedures being done during the manufacturing process and the industry is always working toward better procedures to eliminate the problem of chocolate bars containing microbes. You can find more chocolate facts along this line by going to The Microbiology of Chocolate

Since raw cacao beans are not roasted, they are even more susceptible to microbe contamination if not handled correctly. I always buy raw cacao beans that are certified to be microbe free.

Question: Are there bad cacao beans?

Answer: There are definitely better quality cacao beans than others and there are bad ones. The following would have some bearing on quality from the knowledge I have learned on this subject:

  • There are bad microbes on some raw cacao bean products in the marketplace today as mentioned above.
  • Using pesticides and synthetic chemicals in cacao farming practices will result in cacao bean products containing the poison elements in their chemistry make-up just like any other fruit or vegetable grown under those conditions.
  • Poor quality growing and manufacturing procedures do result in toxic metals and bad microorganisms showing up in the end products we buy at the store.

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Please feel free to email me if you have questions or comments. I am always happy to respond.

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