A Superfood at your health’s service

Cocoa is considered a ‘superfood’ due to the high density of essential nutrients, very few side effects and proven health benefits.The main valuable essential nutrients of cocoa are:Flavonoids (catechins, epicatechins, procyandins), which makes it a very good Antioxidant, which means it reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, also can improve the function of the brain and increase skin density and hydration.Theobromine (a blood vessel widener), which helps at heart stimulation and diuretic operation.

Serotonin. Cocoa favors the production of Serotonin, which intervenes in controlling appetite and eating behavior leading to lower carbohydrate intake for proteins and generally reducing the amount of food ingested.

Acids, which help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels. They also possesses antioxidant properties and can fight free radicals. Vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B9, C, E), which benefit the cardiovascular system and also have antioxidant benefits and promote longevity.

Minerals (magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese) and fiber, which are as well, very essential elements for the proper operation of human organism.

And if the above seems not enough to you there are more benefits we can have from cocoa: It can strengthen cell membrane integrity, boost memory power, improve functioning of the heart, circulatory system and brain, increase energy levels, help with weight loss, reduce inflammatory conditions like arthritis and more… This is why cocoa is called a ‘superfood’!

History Of Cocoa Tree

The name of cocoa tree is Theobroma (means the food of the Gods) and was first cultivated in the American continent in the tropical regions around the Equator. It was the Maya who provided tangible evidence of cocoa as a domesticated crop.

Archaelogical evidence in Costa Rica indicates that cocoa was drunk by Maya as early as 400 B.C. It was brought to us by the Spanish explorers Columbus and Cortes who learned about it from their encounters in the ‘New World’, and although strange to us, we quickly discovered its value.

Nowadays 70% of the world’s production is in West African countries (Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon). The cocoa tree grows to 10-30 feet in height and bears fruits four-five years after planting.

The fruits are called cocoa pods. Each pod weighs about 1 pound and nestled inside the white pulp are several cocoa beans. These beans are taken out and made into cocoa butter which is used to make toiletries, ointments and many pharmaceutical products.

Inside each cocoa bean is the cocoa nib and this is used to make chocolate after they are dried, fermented and processed. There are 3 types of cocoa beans that are used to make chocolate. Each varies from the other in fragrance and flavor, the Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario.

Cultivation and Harvesting

The cocoa tree only grows in the tropical regions, where the hot and humid climate is well suited for it. It is usually grown under planted shade trees (e.g. banana trees) to protect the young trees from the sun and wind. The trees need four or five years to start producing cocoa pods.

The pods ripen after about 6 months turning their color from green or deep red to yellow or orange and are ready to be harvest. Harvesting is done by hand cutting the pods from the tree with machetes or knives, since pulling them from the tree can damage it.

After harvest the farmers open the pods by cutting them with knives and collecting the fruit pulp inside by hand. Inside the pods there are about 50 seeds, the cocoa beans, which they leave to ferment for about seven days. This is to naturally remove the remaining fruit pulp from the beans.

During this process, the beans change from gray to brown to purple and develop their aroma. After fermentation, the cocoa beans are left to dry in the sun for six days more. When the beans are dry enough, they are ready to go to the collection centers where they are packed in sacks or containers, are then shipped to the cocoa processing and chocolate producing areas all over the world.

From Cocoa Beans to Chocolate

Transforming cocoa beans into chocolate is an extremely important production process that requires experience and attention through all the stages, having in mind that the temperature and time in every stage has impact on the final result. The production starts by cleaning the beans carefully from stones, dirt and sand and drying them quickly under special machines. This way breaking the beans’ shell and remove it is easier. The inner cocoa bean meat is then collected and broken into small pieces called ‘cocoa nibs’.

Next step for the Cocoa nibs is to be roasted, to develop their aroma, and then they are passed through grinders which ground them to a liquid mass the ‘cocoa liquor’, the main ingredient of chocolate. From cocoa liquor we can also take cocoa butter and cocoa powder with further processing.

The cocoa liquor is now ready to mix with the rest of the ingredients, depending on the various formulas (cocoa butter, sugar milk powder, vanilla and more) into a homogeneous chocolate dough. This dough is then put to be refined into special machines (rollers) to form the fine chocolate powder with the unique smooth texture and flavor.

Now the chocolate powder is ready to put into conches machines, where it ploughs back and forth through them for hours until it emulsifies and its aroma if fully developed. Then it goes through a tempering interval, heating, cooling and reheating,into molds to be formed as the final product.


An Exceptional "Brain Food"

They promote Heart Health,

by reducing inflammation and improving blood lipids due to their richness in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help to reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ LDL and increase ‘good cholesterol’ HDL. Hazelnuts also contain a considerable amount of vitamins and magnesium, which helps to regulate the balance of calcium and potassium, crucial to blood pressure.

Help manage diabetes.
The valuable acids they content are a substitute for more damaging ‘bad’ fats, so it is a great way to ensure you gain the benefits of good fats without worrying about gaining additional weight.

Fight aging.

The plenty of vitamins they content (C and E among them) are powerful antioxidants that wipe out damaging free radicals and help prevent major disease and illness like cancer and reduce inflammations. Free radicals are closely associated with oxidative damage.

Boost the brain.

Hazelnuts should be considered a brain-boosting powerhouse. They’re full of elements that can improve brain and cognitive function and help prevent degenerative diseases later in life. Because of high levels of vitamin E, manganese, thiamine, folate and fatty acids, a diet supplemented with hazelnuts can help keep your brain sharp, improve memory and working at its best. The fatty acids and proteins help the nervous system and also help to combat depression.

Help prevent cancer.

The antioxidants and vitamins they content, are important cancer-fighting elements. Especially vitamin E has capabilities for decreasing the risk for prostate, breast, colon and lung cancers, while also preventing the growth of mutations and tumors.

Combat obesity.

Hazelnuts are great stimulants for healthy metabolism in the body. Thiamine and manganese play a major part in maintaining a healthy metabolism, producing new red blood cells, and reducing weight. help to combat depression.

Contribute to healthy skin and hair.

The robust amount of vitamins in hazelnuts can contribute to maintaining healthy skin and hair by improving moisture and elasticity. Vitamin E’s antioxidant capabilities can help prevent damage from UV rays and premature aging. It has been also shown to help treat scars, acne and wrinkles due to its ability to regenerate skin cells.


Wheat has played a prominent role throughout history. References to wheat are worldwide. Ancient Chinese writings from 2,700 years b.c. describe growing wheat, although several sources refer that it was cultivated in the Karacadag mountain region (southeastern Turkey) at about 7,800b.c. as well as in Damascus, Syria at the same period.

Cultivation and repeated harvesting and sowing of the grains of wild grasses led to the creation of domestic strains, as mutant forms of wheat were preferentially chosen by farmers. In domesticated wheat, grains are larger, and the seeds remain attached to the ear by a toughened rachis during harvesting.

The cultivation of emmer reached Mediterranean countries and India at 6,500 b.c. and rest of Europe at 5,000 b.c. The early Egyptians were developers of bread and the use of the oven and developed baking into one of the first large-scale food production industries. At about 2,700 b.c. reached China.

From Asia, wheat continued to spread through Europe. In the British isles, wheat straw (thatch) was used for roofing in the Bronze Age, and was in common use until the late 19th century.

Wars have been fought and lost over wheat. Napoleon could no longer feed his troops because their rapid advance caused them to leave grain behind. Even the American Civil War is described as a victory of bread over cotton.

The North had cereal grains to feed their troops and to trade with Europe whereas the South had non-edible cotton. President Hoover is quoted as saying, ‘the first word in war is spoken by guns, the last word has always been spoken by bread’.


The great diversity we see today in wheat is the result of millions of years of evolution capped by many centuries of breeding by humans. varieties originating throughout that history – modern types, heirloom varieties from past decades or centuries, and even wheat varieties we can date back to 9,000 b.c. – are still available today.

common wheat (triticum aestivum), the bread wheat, is the most widely grown species, and yields the flour we buy by the bag. this wheat is the chief ingredient in commercial foods.

durum wheat (triticum turgidum ssp. durum) is used in most dried pasta and couscous, for raised and flat breads in parts of europe and the middle east, and, less often, in the u.s.a. for raise breads. although pasta can be made from common wheat as well, durum pasta predominates and is generally considered higher-quality.

ancient wheat varieties are currently grown on smaller acreages. each ancient species occupies a different branch of wheat’s family tree; spelt is an older form of common wheat, emmer is the direct ancestor of durum wheat, and einkorn is closely related to a wild grass species that played a part in the ancestry of all wheat.


Planting of the wheat occurs in spring or winter and it requires a series of previous work aimed at preparing the ground such as fertilizing, plowing and grading the soil. Sowing is currently done in a mechanical way. The tractor pulls special plows, that then drop the seeds. Grooves are typically spaced about 16 or 17 cm and the seed is planted between 3 and 6cm. The major breeding objectives include high grain yield, good quality of the seeds, disease and insect resistance, and tolerance to abiotic stresses, including mineral, moisture and heat tolerance.

The wheat is harvested in the summer months depending upon the variety and type of climate, when high temperatures have dried the plant and when the environmental humidity is very low so that seeds or straw can withstand it. Harvesting is done with the help of machine collectors. These are a kind of tractor fitted with a front roller that, when turning over, drags the plants, to a large comb provided with moving blades that cut and separate the chaff from grain that is being threshed and baled.

The wheat is now at the flour mill for the manufacturing process.

First step is the inspection and chemical analysis based on several factors, the most important of which is the protein content. Next step is the purification. It is passed through several machines to separate the seeds from the foreign matter.

The purified wheat is washed and placed in a centrifuge to be spun dry. Now it is ready for grinding. It moves between two large metal rollers with spiral grooves which crack open the grains and separate the interior of the wheat from the outer layer of bran. The product of the breaker rolls passes through metal sieves to separate it into the flour categories such as farina and semolina.