Cocoa: More antioxidants than fruit juice

Feb. 7, 2011 at 11:36 AM
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HERSHEY, Pa., Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Cocoa powder and dark chocolate are richer sources of antioxidants, polyphenols and flavanols than fruit juice, U.S. researchers suggest.

A study by the Hershey Center for Health & Nutrition in Hershey, Pa., compared the antioxidant activity in cocoa powder to fruit powders -- including acai, blueberry and cranberry.

Cocoa powder and chocolate are made from an extract of the seeds of the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree, Hershey Center researchers say.

Their study, published in the Chemistry Central Journal, finds there was more antioxidant capacity and a greater total flavanol content in cocoa powder.

The total flavanol content of dark chocolate was significantly greater than cocoa beverage on a per-serving basis and both dark chocolate and cocoa beverage had significantly greater total flavanol content than hot cocoa mix, acai, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate juice, the study says.

The research was funded by the Hershey Co.

Researchers included Stephen J. Crozier, Amy G. Preston, W. Jeffrey Hurst, Mark J. Payne, Julie Mann, Larry Hainly and Debra L. Miller.

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