Chocolate Facts

There are many types of chocolate and each type has a
distinctive flavor and color. Indeed, almost everyone knows chocolate, but few
people know how chocolate changed from the first cocoa bean factory to the last
item on the market. During the manufacturing process, the combination of mixed
ingredients determines what type of chocolate will be produced. Cocoa solids in
chocolate give a special flavor to the chocolate. Chocolate with a lot of cocoa
solids is usually dark in color and a distinctive flavor.

A wide range of chocolate is available in the market,
ranging from various shapes and flavors. The first type of chocolate to discuss
is dark chocolate . As the name implies, dark chocolate is a dark brown type of
chocolate. This color is due to the high content of cocoa solids in this type
of chocolate, which is 35 percent or more. The main components of dark
chocolate are cocoa, fat, and sugar solids (1). The higher the cocoa is, the
less fat and sugar are added. This causes chocolate to have a bittersweet
flavor and its consistency is not soft (2).

Milk chocolate is the type of chocolate that most berebdar
on the market. This type of chocolate has a lighter color and taste sweeter
than dark chocolate . In the making, there is a reduction of cocoa solids and
milk feeding which results in a softer texture and flavor (3) and the color
becomes light brown. Components used are cocoa solids, cocoa butter , sugar,
and inflammation is also given vanilla flavor (1). If the fat used is not fat
from milk or cocoa, for example from vegetable oil, then the product can not be
called chocolate or milk chocolate . Usually products that use fat substitutes
like this have the label "made with chocolate".

Next is the white chocolate chocolate type . White chocolate
is unique because it is not made by using cocoa solids so it is not brown.
White chocolate contains sugar, milk, and cocoa butter (4). Cocoa butter is a
fat obtained from cocoa beans. Cocoa butter is a mixture of saturated and
unsaturated fats that have a carbon length of 20 to 16, this makes a soft white
chocolate texture (2). According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
white chocolate contains up to 55 percent sugar, cocoa fat more than or equal
to 20 percent, and milk fat more than or equal to 3.5 percent (5).

This one food is much believed to improve the mood is not
good, so chocolate is known as a friend in times of stress. However, much of
the information circulating about chocolate has the opposite effect to make the
psychological state of mankind worse. Confusion about the effects of chocolate
on health is also a widespread issue. So, which one is right?

In a medical context, stress is a physical, mental, or
emotional condition that can cause a person's physical or mental stress. Causes
of stress can be due to external and internal factors (1). Stress can cause
various responses from the body, ranging from increased heart rate, increased
blood pressure, tense muscles, to hormonal changes. Hormones that play a role
during stress include cortisol, norephinephrine, and adrenaline. Then what is
the role of chocolate in a stressful condition?

There are various types of chocolate circulating in the
market. For solid chocolate itself, which we often hear there is milk
chocolate, dark chocolate , and white chocolate . What distinguishes the three
types of chocolate is from the composition of the constituent material. This
difference in constituent material must have a different impact on the human
body. Of the three types of solid chocolate mentioned, dark chocolate is a
variant that contains the highest cocoa. The amount of its own content varies
from product to product, from 35 percent to 100 percent. Cocoa contains
flavonoid antioxidants, one type of antioxidant class of polyphenols. In
addition, cocoa is also rich in epchiquin, catechins, and prosianidin (2).

Flavonoids, based on several studies, can lower blood
pressure. So by consuming flavonoids, rising blood pressure in stress conditions
can go down. The consumption of dark chocolate is also shown to decrease the
stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine (3), although clear mechanisms do not
yet exist. It should be underlined that the role of the stress hormones, is not
limited to affect the bad mood . The condition of severe stress on a person
also not only affects the mood . Many things are more complex than that.
Studies of the literature even discussed many stressful associations with
diseases such as angina pectoris, atherosclerosis , stroke, and even cancer

Cortisol itself has a role in energy metabolism. Cortisol
stimulates the conversion of amino acids and other substrates into glucose in
the liver and helps the breakdown of proteins in order to increase blood sugar
levels (5). Increased levels of this actual sugar need to watch out for.
Chocolate is sold to the community mostly is the type of chocolate that has
been processed in such a way, so that the chocolate products are high in sugar
and flavonoid levels down. A journal discusses the comparison of the catechin
phenol content of chocolate processed products, the result in milk chocolate is
15-16 mg / 100 g, 48-137 mg / 100 g in dark chocolate, and 296-327 mg / 100g in
cocoa powder (6 ).

So, actually if chocolate becomes our friend in times of
stress. It's just the selection of the type of chocolate we should consider.
Dark chocolate that contains high flavonoids is the right choice because of its
good effect for your body, also your mood. Be a careful consumer by paying
attention to food content. In choosing chocolate, choose chocolate with a high
cacao content which means having more flavonoids.

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