The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 12 No. 6 • October 2009

Remarkable Stability of
Cocoa Contents During Long Storage

A new paper1 reports, among other things, that 80 year old cocoa powder and 116 year old cocoa beans retained high levels of antioxidant activity and flavan-3-ol content. The 80 year old cocoa powder had been in the continuous possession of The Hershey Company stored under office conditions, while the 116 year old cocoa beans were originally displayed at the 1893 Chicago Exposition. Table 1 in the paper showed that the total polyphenol content in the 80 year old cocoa powder was 55.5 mg/g with 1.78 mg/g of flavan-3-ol monomers as compared to a 2008 sample of cocoa powder that contained 58 ± 1 mg/g polyphenols with 2.66 mg/g flavan-3-ol monomers. The 1893 cocoa beans contained 61.7 mg/g total polyphenols and 1.95 mg/g flavan-3-ol monomers.

  1. Hurst et al. Stability of cocoa antioxidants and flavan-3-ols over time. J Agric Food Chem 57:9547-50 (2009).

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