Flavanols in chocolate – what are they?
Flavonoids belong to a group of natural substances with phenolic structures with a core flavone structure. They are found naturally in some plants and food products. Flavonoids can further be divided into sub-groups of flavones, flavanols, flavonols and anthocyanins.
The cacao bean which is used to make chocolate is found in the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree which grows in tropical regions around the world. Theobroma translates to ‘food of the gods’ as it has been known for a long time to promote good health. This is because it contains high amounts of flavanols.
The problem is that raw cacao bean is not pleasant to eat but the alkalinisation processing system used for most cacao beans that separates out the cocoa powder destroys virtually all flavanols in it.
In order to retain the high flavanol content known for its health benefits, a new system of processing the raw cacao was needed and developed. It is this system that we use in the cocoa powder in MemoMax which is why its flavanol content is so high.