Uses of Cocoa and its Chemical Constituents

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Source and Distribution of Cocoa:

Cocoa is obtained from the seeds of Theobroma cocoa, which belongs to the family Sterculiaceae. It is also known as cocoa seed or cocoa bean. The cocoa seeds are obtained from the cocoa plants which grow in the countries like Sri Lanka, Java, Brazil, Ecuador, Guiana and Carribean islands.

A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages...

A cacao tree with fruit pods in various stages of ripening. Taken on the Big Island (Hawaii) in the botanical gardens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chemical Constituents of Cocoa :

Theobromine is the main constituent of cocoa seeds and cocoa butter is present in minute amounts. It also contains caffeine, volatile compounds which give flavour and polyphenols in trace amounts.

English: Chemical structure of theobromine

English: Chemical structure of theobromine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Medicinal Uses of Cocoa:

  • Theobromine has stimulant activity
  • Acts as a diuretic
  • Nutrition supplement
  • Cocoa butter is used as a suppository base in pharmaceuticals
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