Healthier chocolate: Is it possible? A team of African scientists and researchers may have figured out a way to make the savory snack even better for us.
Chocolate already boasts several health benefits, including properties that "lower risk for stroke, boost mood and potentially serve as brain food," according to the Huffington Post. However, many of the cocoa bean's natural benefits are lost in the chocolate-making process. This new process, created by Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa at the University of Ghana, hopes to keep some of the bean's lost nutrients, including "heart-healthy antioxidants" called polyphenols.
Cocoa beans are usually removed from their pods, fermented, dried and roasted in order to turn them into chocolate. Afoakwa's new process changes two things: It stores the cocoa beans in their pods for longer periods of time—up to 10 days—and it slow-roasts the beans at a lower temperature. According to Afoakwa and the Huffington Post, the chocolate made from cocoa beans that were stored for 10 days and were slow-roasted "containted the most polyphenols and antioxidant activity."
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