The cocoa bean or only cocoa is the preserved and entirely-fermented seed of Theobroma cacao. We can extract cocoa solids (a blend of non-fat items) and cocoa butter (the fat) from it. Cocoa beans are the source of chocolate.
A short history of cocoa beans:
Cocoa was a well-established crop and item of commerce in the 16th century in Central America. In 1520, when Cortés discovered Mexico City, he found that these people were using cocoa beans to prepare a luxury drink "chocolate." It was made by roasting the whole cocoa beans, crushing them, and mixing with maize meal, vanilla, and chili. They were mixed with a special whisk; optionally in the fashion still used today in Colombia, the Philippines, and elsewhere. The Aztec peoples had not grown these cocoa beans, but Mayas did, who gave them as an offering to Montezuma. At that time, cocoa had more importance than merely being the main component of a drink. As the cocoa beans were easy to count and were comparatively expensive, they were extensively used. In Mexico, this use for cocoa beans appeared to last until at least 1840.
In 1876, Daniel Peter mixed milk with cocoa and sugar to make milk chocolate, and this started the very accelerated growth in chocolate demand from the start of the 20th century. With this, cocoa farming on a large scale began, and there was a variation in the levels of production from South America and the Caribbean to West Africa. People started to plant Forastero types more than Criollo types, because of their higher yield potential and excellent protection from pests and infections. In the 1850s, beans from Criollo types considered for almost 80% of cocoa's entire global production. By 1900, it dropped to 40-45%, and since then it stayed to fall regularly and only 1 or 2% in 1998.
Source of cocoa beans:
Cocoa beans are the main source of all chocolate and cocoa around the world. We can get these beans in the cocoa tree's pods. The cocoa tree is an evergreen plant, usually grown within 15 to 20 degrees of the equator. It requires hot and humid conditions. Cocoa beans undergo a dissolving and drying process before we use them for chocolate or cocoa production. During the complicated dissolving process, the cocoa bean undergoes many changes. The sugar-containing fruit mash, which would be difficult to dispose of by any other way, is split by ferments. The heat produced during the process brings the pieces to a temperature of about 50°C. This heat destroys the growing properties of cocoa seeds. The constricting and sour taste decreases.
Can you eat raw cocoa beans?
Yes, you can eat the Cacao bean raw. It is tasty, stimulating, and super good for you and your health. Cacao has been ranked the highest superfood. It has the highest antioxidants.
Products we can get from cocoa beans:
Once we have fermented and dried the beans, we can process them to produce a variety of products. These products are:
Cocoa butter - Cocoa butter is used in the production of chocolate. It is also significantly used in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and soaps.
Cocoa powder - Cocoa powder can be used as an element in almost any foodstuff. For example, it is used in chocolate-flavored beverages. It is also used in chocolate-flavored sweets such as ice cream and mousse, chocolate cheeses and sauces, and cakes and biscuits.
Cocoa liquor - Cocoa liquor is used, with other elements, to produce chocolate. It's composed of a mixture of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, typically at a 50:50 ratio.
Cocoa beans are the superfood of the future:
Superfoods are described as food items that can ward off diseases like cancer, heart diseases, cholesterol, and others. Any food having significant vitamins, antioxidants, dietary fibers, minerals, and enzymes can be considered as a superfood. Cocoa beans are believed to be included in it anytime in the future. The pure natural cocoa bean is the next superfood. You can also eat cocoa beans in raw form. But it is more suitable to process it appropriately and added as an element to food before eating them. The most popular end products of cocoa beans are chocolates and chocolate beverages. Yes, chocolates can be good for you too while chocolates are always pointed to as the candied food that can make you fat and unhealthy. There's a particular chocolate type that can keep you in the pink of health at all times - dark chocolate. A small bar or a piece of dark chocolate should be enough to do miracles to your health. All superfoods have to be eaten in the precise amounts to release their goodness. This is particularly true with chocolates because it could have high amounts of calories in each bar. This is why you should eat them in balance.
Choosing the Right Cacao Bean:
If there is a situation where you have to pick out your organic cocoa beans, there are different things you should look for. The difference between the beans of different companies is pretty shocking when they are compared side by side. When picking out an organic cacao bean, the first thing you should look at is the color and the feel. The beans should be a vibrant golden-brown color, and they should be almost dry. Avoid black or very dark beans because that is a good sign that they have many bacteria, which can potentially be harmful. The unhealthy beans will look a little bad, and they will be softer to the touch. Other than the color and feel of the organic cacao beans, it would be best to look at the conditions they are dispatched in and how they are stored. The overall health of the beans will be influenced by the conditions they are kept in.
Another way to learn about the beans is to read reviews on them from other people. You won't get anyone more reliable than the general public. If they get a faulty product, they will be angry and generally will tell anyone who listens. It is vital to do the right amount of research before making a large purchase of organic cocoa beans. But if you're buying small orders, feel free to sample the market. Find the beans with the flavor you like.
Who is the largest exporter of cocoa?
Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) is leading the world in production and export of the cocoa beans. These beans are further used in the manufacture of chocolate. As of 2019, they have been supplying 38% of cocoa produced in the world. Ivory Coast produces 1.8 million tons per year.
Top 3 chocolate companies in the world?
Top 3 chocolate producing companies are:
1. Mars Inc.
2. Mondelez International.
Revised Date: 15-07-2020