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Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented


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19 replies to this topic

#1 X100

  • Location:NYC

Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:17 AM


I recently started using Navitas raw cocoa powder again, after a one year absence. I have noticed a difference in the powder. It doesn't taste quite as bitter, and it has a chocolate smell. The powder used to have no chocolate smell at all, and was quite bitter. I did some research, and I believe that Navitas now uses fermentation, where in the past they did not. Their literature mentions "lightly fermented." It seems that the fermentation process is what gives cocoa powder the flavor and smell of chocolate. I am thinking that it also reduces the polyphenol content. Anyone know for sure? Any sources of non-fermented powder?

X
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#2 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 26 October 2010 - 03:53 AM

Interesting article. Notice what happens when the cocoa is roasted.

http://pubs.acs.org/....1021/jf102391q

Edited by X100, 26 October 2010 - 03:54 AM.

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#3 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 27 October 2010 - 03:55 PM

Any comments here? Dozens of views, but no comments?
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#4 Recortes Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Madrid, Spain

Posted 30 October 2010 - 07:53 AM

Well, indeed this thread should have more attention, given the importance of cocoa in health. I use Navitas powder, but there is no information whether it has been fermented or not. Anyone has a suggestion or raw coca powder at iherb?
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#5 hallucinogen Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Atlantic Ocean
  • yes

Posted 30 October 2010 - 01:47 PM

Fermented Cocoa isn't actually RAW, it has been discussed before, i find cocoa to be overload of 600 chemicals, plus theobromine has an EVEN WORST comedown then caffeine or xanthines found in Yerba Mate !!! It's too much, too much, plus gives you hot flushes

Edited by hallucinogen, 30 October 2010 - 01:49 PM.

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#6 Ben Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:South East

Posted 30 October 2010 - 04:39 PM

Interesting article. Notice what happens when the cocoa is roasted.

http://pubs.acs.org/....1021/jf102391q


From the article:

"Substantial decreases (>80%) in catechin and epicatechin levels were observed in fermented versus unfermented beans."

This is an annoyance for me as I also use Navitas Naturals cocoa powder :(. I preferred the taste when it was bitter too.
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#7 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 30 October 2010 - 05:02 PM


Interesting article. Notice what happens when the cocoa is roasted.

http://pubs.acs.org/....1021/jf102391q


From the article:

"Substantial decreases (>80%) in catechin and epicatechin levels were observed in fermented versus unfermented beans."

This is an annoyance for me as I also use Navitas Naturals cocoa powder :(. I preferred the taste when it was bitter too.



Navitas packaging says "partially fermented." I emailed them for clarification, no response in seven days. Maybe if a few more email them, we'll get a response. info@navitasnaturals.com

I have looked and looked, haven't found any source of non-fermented powder. Do we have to buy our own presses and press/grind our own?
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#8 Ben Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:South East

Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:08 AM

Thanks I'll email them as well. This company has a history of very poor customer relations.
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#9 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:29 AM

I received a reply today. Pasted below. i also paste the abstract from the article cited above.

=======================

Thanks for the interest.

Our cacao beans have always been partially fermented. By this we mean our
beans sit for a few days in their natural pods that have moisture. They
naturally ferment in their own moisture. After this the beans are dried at
low temperatures. This process will bring out a more chocolate flavor and
alleviate some of the bitterness.

Other companies soak their beans in water and let them ferment even more.
One other possibility is the that they use an alkalizing agent. This is
known as the Dutch Process.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Cahill Walsh

9 Pamaron Way, Suite J
Novato, CA 94949
P: 888.645.4282
F: 415.883.1083
E: cahill@navitasnaturals.com
W: www.navitasnaturals.com

=====================

"Low molecular weight flavan-3-ols are thought to be responsible, in part, for the cardiovascular benefits associated with cocoa powder and dark chocolate. The levels of epicatechin and catechin were determined in raw and conventionally fermented cacao beans and during conventional processing, which included drying, roasting, and Dutch (alkali) processing. Unripe cacao beans had 29% higher levels of epicatechin and the same level of catechin compared to fully ripe beans. Drying had minimal effect on the epicatechin and catechin levels. Substantial decreases (>80%) in catechin and epicatechin levels were observed in fermented versus unfermented beans. When both Ivory Coast and Papua New Guinea beans were subjected to roasting under controlled conditions, there was a distinct loss of epicatechin when bean temperatures exceeded 70 °C. When cacao beans were roasted to 120 °C, the catechin level in beans increased by 696% in unfermented beans, by 650% in Ivory Coast beans, and by 640% in Papua New Guinea fermented beans compared to the same unroasted beans. These results suggest that roasting in excess of 70 °C generates significant amounts of (−)-catechin, probably due to epimerization of (−)-epicatechin. Compared to natural cocoa powders, Dutch processing caused a loss in both epicatechin (up to 98%) and catechin (up to 80%). The epicatechin/catechin ratio is proposed as a useful and sensitive indicator for the processing history of cacao beans."

Edited by X100, 02 November 2010 - 05:33 AM.

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#10 Recortes Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Madrid, Spain

Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:48 AM

X100,




thanks for the info. Is it possible to know what Nativas understand by low temperature?. That's the key data we need to know.


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#11 Thorsten Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:36 PM

Didn't know about the fermentation thing.

In regards to the effects I seem to get crazy euphoria from cacao. I mixed some this morning and this feels like I am on a mild day long opiate dose. It's a very nice feeling. I take the ground up powder and mix into smoothies. One big greedy oversized tablespoon, dunked right in, lovely :happy:
I take it daily and the mood lift seems to be consistent. I was expecting tolerance to come into play but this seems to be holding back right now.
Although I would always be interested in its health benefits, for somebody like myself, the mood enhancing properties are of far more interest. My aim is to design a diet that I can eat on a consistent basis that will induce a high level of wellbeing and euphoria. I have many ideas behind this but it's going to require a lot of work and effort to put it all together. I want to incorporate many things. Cacao for sure is a treat that I don't want to use daily, every few days should be fine. Tolerance is a bitch.
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#12 Logan Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Arlington, VA

Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:43 PM

Fermented Cocoa isn't actually RAW, it has been discussed before, i find cocoa to be overload of 600 chemicals, plus theobromine has an EVEN WORST comedown then caffeine or xanthines found in Yerba Mate !!! It's too much, too much, plus gives you hot flushes


Coffee is waaaay worse as far as a comedown and way more destabilizing than raw cacao, at least for me. When I drink even the best quality coffee I feel gross and toxic, but I do not feel this way after consuming raw cacao.
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#13 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 03 November 2010 - 01:35 AM

X100,




thanks for the info. Is it possible to know what Nativas understand by low temperature?. That's the key data we need to know.


The response came:

"Cacao beans are machine dried at no more than 30 C for 6 hours until 7% of
humidity."
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#14 Thorsten Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:50 AM


Fermented Cocoa isn't actually RAW, it has been discussed before, i find cocoa to be overload of 600 chemicals, plus theobromine has an EVEN WORST comedown then caffeine or xanthines found in Yerba Mate !!! It's too much, too much, plus gives you hot flushes


Coffee is waaaay worse as far as a comedown and way more destabilizing than raw cacao, at least for me. When I drink even the best quality coffee I feel gross and toxic, but I do not feel this way after consuming raw cacao.


+1
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#15 Recortes Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Madrid, Spain

Posted 03 November 2010 - 09:30 PM


X100,




thanks for the info. Is it possible to know what Nativas understand by low temperature?. That's the key data we need to know.


The response came:

"Cacao beans are machine dried at no more than 30 C for 6 hours until 7% of
humidity."


X100,

thanks a lot for the letting us know. So, we can continue with Navitas. Good to know.
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#16 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 03 November 2010 - 11:56 PM



X100,




thanks for the info. Is it possible to know what Nativas understand by low temperature?. That's the key data we need to know.


The response came:

"Cacao beans are machine dried at no more than 30 C for 6 hours until 7% of
humidity."


X100,

thanks a lot for the letting us know. So, we can continue with Navitas. Good to know.


I don't know that the information that I've provided is that favorable. The company does ferment their beans, and we know (do we?) that fermentation does greatly reduce the "good stuff" in the cocoa. The only consolation is knowing that it can't be much worse than all of the other cocoa out there. All I know is that the stuff is less bitter and smells more like chocolate than it used to. I tend to conclude that they are fermenting more now.
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#17 Recortes Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Madrid, Spain

Posted 04 November 2010 - 10:59 AM




X100,




thanks for the info. Is it possible to know what Nativas understand by low temperature?. That's the key data we need to know.


The response came:

"Cacao beans are machine dried at no more than 30 C for 6 hours until 7% of
humidity."


X100,

thanks a lot for the letting us know. So, we can continue with Navitas. Good to know.


I don't know that the information that I've provided is that favorable. The company does ferment their beans, and we know (do we?) that fermentation does greatly reduce the "good stuff" in the cocoa. The only consolation is knowing that it can't be much worse than all of the other cocoa out there. All I know is that the stuff is less bitter and smells more like chocolate than it used to. I tend to conclude that they are fermenting more now.



Another option would be to buy raw cocoa beans, and mill them ourselves. However to remove the skin is a pain. But, probably would be the healthier alternative.


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#18 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 05 November 2010 - 02:22 AM

Another option would be to buy raw cocoa beans, and mill them ourselves. However to remove the skin is a pain. But, probably would be the healthier alternativ


I think one can buy unfermented nibs. You could grind them, but I think they are rather high in fat.
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#19 X100 Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:NYC

Posted 06 November 2010 - 01:29 AM

Well, the guy from Navitas got back to me. What do you think?

=====


Here is the Flavonoid breakdown for our cacao products.
Cacao powder: 11%
Cacao beans: 6.8%
Cacao Nibs: 3.4%

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#20 Polly Re: Raw Cocoa powder, fermented vs unfermented

  • Location:Los Angeles, CA

Posted 02 January 2011 - 07:30 PM

Fermented cocoa has a large amount of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) in it. Perhaps this is an advantage of the fermentation process? PQQ is a newly discovered B vitamin. It is important for mitochondria health. It may be depleted by exposure to lead.

www.aor.ca/assets/Research/pdf/Advances_9_April_2006_Pyrroloquinoline_Quinone_PQQ.pdf

Edited by Polly, 02 January 2011 - 07:34 PM.

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