3.3. Exploring the Nutraceutical Value of Fine or Flavour Trinitario Cacao Varieties: Antioxidant Capacity and Polyphenol Content of 24 Imperial College Selections from Trinidad
Pilgrim, S. *; Yen, I.C.; Sukha, D.; Bekele, F.
Cocoa is widely consumed as chocolates and in desserts, and used to produce beverages, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and toiletries. Recently, it has become recognized for nutraceutical benefits including promotion of cardiovascular health, decreased oxidation of LDL to prevent atherosclerosis formation, reduction in LDL cholesterol and high antioxidant capacity.
Cocoa capsules containing high quantities of antioxidants are currently marketed in the health-food industry. Cocoa is now regarded as a functional food or as a medicine.
Twenty-four Imperial College Selection (ICS) cacao varieties were thus investigated with a view to their exploitation as a potential source of natural antioxidants due to their phenolic composition and dietary antioxidant potential. These varieties produce fine or flavor Trinitario cocoa beans and are sold in a niche market due to desirable flavor and quality attributes. Some Trinitario cacao varieties are also valued for their favorable agronomic traits such as large seed size and good yield.
The anti-oxidant activity, AA (Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC)) of ethanolic extracts prepared from cocoa beans were measured by two different standards using a similar method of analysis. Folin–Ciocalteu reagent was used to estimate the total polyphenol content (TPP). The TEAC values were within the range of 755 to 7442 mol/g TE and the VCEAC levels fell within a range of 397 to 3917 mol/g VCEAC. Total extractable phenolics (TPP) were 59 to 164 mg/g for cocoa beans. Significant differences (p < 0.05) were observed for AA and TPP.
The varieties with high AA and TPP can be exploited for their nutraceutical value in the production of dark chocolates with high cocoa-solid content. This will add further incentive to expand the production of fine or flavor Trinitario cocoa and promote commercialization activities based on it.
ISCHOM II: Barcelona 2015. Nutrients