Chocolate Makers Starting Points #1

5 Reasons Raw Cocoa Beans Aren't Meant For Humans


Deep Dive


5 - Bad science 

it is generally considered bad form to extrapolate beyond your data set.

It is fine in limited circumstances, such as maybe planning a study, or getting a ROUGH idea of what might be true, but it should never be done as proof of something.  Keep in mind I am making the following data up in the specific, but have seen these kind of results and the conclusions that are drawn from them.

beyond the curve.jpg

I've seen many people then say it is clearly obvious that this is the case

beyond the curve 1.jpg

but science doesn't work that way.  Any of the following could also be perfectly valid as the fit the data.

I'm very much not saying any of these are what happens. I'm saying I've yet to see a solid defensible study showing absolutely that raw is higher in anti-oxidants in ALL cases as I often hear claimed.


4 - roasting affects flavour 

I've tasted a lot of variations of beans. Raw cocoa beans to over fermented cocoa beans, from unroasted to roasted and to date I've NEVER tasted a raw cocoa bean that tasted of chocolate.  A few fermented, unroasted have smelled a little bit of chocolate, but chocolate flavor didn't happen until roasting or at least heating (I've tasted chocolate made with unroasted beans refined at 160 F that had some chocolate flavor).


3 - Preparation


Again, this pretty well speaks for itself.  That said, I'm not saying you can't have safe raw cocoa IF at each step before it gets to you it’s handled with the knowledge it’s going to be eaten raw, or you happen to get lucky.


2 & 1 - Ecoli, Salmonella & Origin Contamination 

If you like the flavor of raw chocolate, fine.  Just take due diligence and be careful. If you are making it for sale, I can't recommend enough that you have microbiological tests performed on EVERY finished batch of chocolate.

This really happens at origin

This really happens at origin

I want to bring up one other item that didn't fit into the video. To date every study I have seen has focused on total nutrients, total ORAC values or select flavonals.  That's well and good, but what we care about is what is bioavailable.  in vivo vs in vitro.  There's lots of evidence that many properly cooked foods have more accessible nutrients than their raw counterparts even though the total value is lower in the cooked version.  To be clear, I'm not claiming that IS the case (I don't have the data) but there is compelling evidence it could well be.

And finally, at the end of the day, how much does it matter?  There is tons of hype that chocolate is now 'heart healthy' but I'm hoping you are not eating ounces of chocolate everyday in hopes the nutrients in chocolate are improving your daily nutrient values, or making you healthier. 

Do as you will, eat what you enjoy and please be safe.