Saturday, June 30, 2012

The history and composition of chocolate

Chocolate has a long history, going back even to the ancient Maya. They were first used fruit tree Theobroma cacao (in translation: the food of the gods), which grows in the Amazon rain forest, a top-notch, delicious drink - cocoa.

Chocolate - the history and expansion of world
It was a thick fluid rich in flavor, and they did so they would cook and grind cocoa fruit and then the mixture in water mixed with soy, vanilla and chilli. It was available only to the chosen and considered the food of the gods.

Through retailers, chocolate is due in Mexico where the Aztecs were enthusiastically embraced. In the 15th century., Discover America, was discovered and delicious beverage. In Europe, the news brought by the famous sailor Christophor Columbo. But it was not until Don Cortes brought raw materials, and equipment necessary for making chocolate in Spain. Europa was discovered in the divine drink which the upper class of American Indians enjoyed for centuries! The Spaniards decided to create his own version of beverage, they threw hot chili and add cinnamon and sugar. However, due to poor supply of cocoa, chocolate making has not spread.

The turning point in the production of chocolate occurred when Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten invented a hydraulic press with which he managed to extract as much as 50% cocoa butter, which has previously floated on the surface of chocolate. So you got the crowd he could grind to a powder. The powder was treated with alkaline salts to be mixed easily with water.

Later they began to melt cocoa butter and cocoa powder in the back - this is how smooth paste was obtained which could safely add sugar to become grainy mass. And chocolate has become much more palatable.Thanks to cocoa butter chocolate is as delicious melt in your mouth.

Cocoa powder
Cocoa powder is created from which chocolate is made from seeds of Theobroma cacao tree. It is an evergreen tree, with reddish and yellow flowers. Begins to bear fruits otprililike after 3 years. Harvested pods, which open with a wooden hammer and extracted fruit. They shall lay the banana leaves and left to ferment for 5-6 days. Changing their color from purplish red to dark brown.

The core is converted into alcohol and sugar liquid flows, and begins to create a chocolate flavor. After fermentation, the fruits are dried and cooked. After cooking the fruits are crushed and ground into a thick liquid. The liquid cooling hardens. The mixture resulting from the base of all chocolate and cocoa products.

There are two main types of cocoa: criollo and forastero. Criollo is better. Of course, less than 15% of world production comes from the chocolate kind. Forastero cacao is slightly lower quality than it is for most of the chocolate in the world. It is considered a luxury food that should not be eating too much, possibly as few as not to contribute to the thickness, acne or migraines.

However, new research is denied and generally accepted inaccuracies. They prove that chocolate or cocoa, very good for our health and can help prevent many diseases such as heart attack, cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Nutritional content of chocolate
Of course, it varies depending on the recipe. Generally, the chocolate contains:

Protein - required for the maintenance and recovery of fat - mostly saturated fat, 50%;

Vitamin E - fat soluble, essential to protect the integrity of cell membranes;

Calcium, phosphorus and magnesium - essential minerals needed for strong bones and teeth;

Iron - essential for the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier in the blood;

Caffeine - a stimulant of the nervous system;

Copper - Helps the metabolism, the formation of melanin in the skin and hair, and the function of the central nervous system;

Oprilike 50% chocolate make fat. The level of cholesterol in the blood is usually increased by foods containing saturated fats, but the type of saturated fat in chocolate (of course, when it comes to the original cocoa butter, not herbal supplements) is stearic acid. This type of fat has no effect on blood cholesterol, which means that those who try to limit foods with saturated fats to reduce cholesterol in the blood can easily consume the right chocolate, without fear of consequences.

Chocolate contains over 400 known chemicals including-methylxanthine theobromine, caffeine, theophylline, serotonin, tryptophan, anandamide, histamine. Caffeine is present in very small quantities.Theobromine is present in much higher amounts. Although theobromine has a weak stimulant effect, it is assumed that in combination with other ingredients contributing to the creation of pleasure and desire for chocolate. However, this is no direct evidence.

Due to large amounts of magnesium and micro amounts of serotonin in chocolate helps to calm the women's nervousness during menstruation, and generally affects the lifting of mood, which is near irresistible taste of another important reason for the chocolate reaches out when we are depressed or sad.

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