Sunday, July 15, 2012

The history and composition of chocolate

Chocolate has a long history that dates back to the ancient Maya. They were first used fruit tree Theobroma cacao (in translation: the food of the gods), which grows in the Amazon rainforest, the first class, delicious beverage - cocoa.

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

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

Milestone in the production of chocolate was when the Dutch chemist Coenraad Van Houten, invented a hydraulic press with which he managed to extract as much as 50% cocoa butter, which was previously swam on the surface of chocolate. So you got the weight 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 add sugar without the risk of becoming a granular mass. And chocolate has become much tastier. Thanks to cocoa butter chocolate is as delicious melt in your mouth.

Cocoa powder
Cocoa powder, from which chocolate is produced from the seeds of Theobroma cacao tree. It is the evergreen tree, with red and yellow flowers. Begins to bear fruit after three years otprililike. Picking the pods, which are opened by using a wooden hammer and extracted fruit. They shall lay the banana leaves and left to ferment for 5-6 days. Changing their colors from purple red to dark brown.

The core is converted into alcohol and sugar liquid that runs off, and begin to create a chocolate flavor.After fermentation, the fruits are dried and cooked. After cooking the fruits are cut and milled into a thick liquid. The liquid harden by cooling. The mixture resulting from the base of all chocolate and cocoa products.

There are two basic 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. Today it is considered a luxury food item that should not eat too much, possibly as few as not to contribute to the thickness, acne or migraines.

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

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

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

Vitamin E - fat soluble, essential to 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 nervous system;

Copper - Helps the metabolism, the formation of melanin in the skin and hair and 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, if a genuine 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 without any problems right chocolate can be consumed without fear of consequence.

Chocolate contains over 400 known chemical constituents, including methylxanthines, theobromine, caffeine, theophylline, serotonin, tryptophan, anandamide, histamine. Caffeine is present in very small quantities. Theobromine is present in much larger quantities. 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, it has 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 the general mood-elevating, as the next irresistible taste another important reason for the chocolate reaches out when we are depressed or sad.

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