7 July 2014
Who, what, why: What is 'raw' chocolate?
"Raw" chocolate is being sold as the latest "superfood", but what is it and why is it getting more popular, asks Justin Parkinson.
Making chocolate is complicated. Cacao beans have to be picked before being fermented, roasted, ground down, pressed, mixed with fat and sugar and turned into bars and other sweets.
Several companies in Europe, the US and Asia have decided to alter one of the processes and no longer roast the beans. They insist that growers in Africa and South America leave them outdoors to dry naturally instead. The resulting product is called "raw" chocolate.
Manufacturers claim that avoiding exposure to oven temperatures allows the preservation of nutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and vitamin C, in a similar way to uncooked vegetables. It's also claimed that uncooked cacao contains higher levels of antioxidants than the roasted variety used in most chocolate. (...)