Schokolade & Gesundheit

Raw cocoa: superfood or health risk?

Rohkakao: Superfood oder Gesundheitsrisiko?

We have already talked about the meaning and nonsense of the terms raw cocoa and raw chocolate in another article . Almost more important, however, is the question of whether raw cocoa is really that healthy or perhaps even poses a health risk. We have looked at this in more detail below.

Health risks of raw cocoa

In order to be able to process cocoa into chocolate, it must be fermented. During fermentation, heat is generated, which then promotes the growth of bacteria. This is expressly desired because the bacteria involved have a decisive influence on the taste of the end product - the raw cocoa or raw chocolate. During the production of industrial chocolate, the cocoa beans are therefore very heavily roasted. Because if temperatures are too low, the microbial contamination cannot be sufficiently reduced. And craft chocolate manufacturers also ensure that they reach high temperatures when roasting in order to eliminate health risks. But how does it work with raw cocoa?

In fact, this question is not that easy to answer. While professional manufacturers like Raaka use testing procedures to specifically protect themselves from microorganisms, smaller manufacturers can hardly afford this. When purchasing raw cocoa products, it is best to research the respective manufacturers to find out which processes they use to minimize health risks.

Is raw cocoa really healthy? Is raw cocoa really healthy? ©Unsplash

Raw chocolate = superfood?

Manufacturers like Raaka use unroasted cocoa beans to achieve the most original taste possible. However, most chocolate brands primarily target the supposed health benefits and associated marketing potential. They claim that the low temperatures allow more nutrients to be preserved than the traditional manufacturing process.

If you believe the raw cocoa fans, raw cocoa in particular contains polyphenols, which are said to have antioxidant properties. These are said to be positive for human health because they delay cell damage . Cocoa beans are also said to have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the risk of diabetes. According to proponents, raw cocoa beans in particular contain high amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. However, there is little scientific evidence that these positive properties only occur in raw cocoa.
In fact, some studies suggest that roasting does not destroy the health-promoting properties of cocoa beans. Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that depending on the roasting temperature and duration, roasting can actually increase the health benefits of cocoa beans. These and other studies suggest that chocolates made from roasted beans are actually healthier overall.

Unroasted or roasted? Above all a question of taste. Unroasted or roasted? Above all a question of taste. ©Unsplash

Chocolate in research

Would you like to learn more about the health benefits of cocoa beans and chocolate? We have already done a lot of research for you. So here's a quick overview:
Most people have probably already noticed that chocolate helps against stress. You can find scientific reasons for this here . You want to lose weight, but you can't do without chocolate. You can find out why you shouldn't do that here - you can also find an assessment from Bas Kast here . Do you value a diet rich in fiber? Then you might be interested in our article on the topic of fiber in chocolate . By the way, chocolate is also said to help against coughs. You can find out what's behind the delicious rumor here . And for all chocolate lovers who are afraid of the dentist – it's probably not the chocolate .

FAQ about raw cocoa

Is raw cocoa healthy?

Many advocates swear by the health-promoting effects of raw cocoa. However, this has not been scientifically proven.

What is the difference between cocoa and raw cocoa?

Unlike cocoa, raw cocoa is not roasted.

Is raw cocoa the same as baked cocoa?

No, baking cocoa is usually made from roasted cocoa beans.

How do you drink raw cacao?

As a powder, you can also make a drink from raw cocoa in the same way you know from "normal" cocoa: stir a few teaspoons, depending on how intense you like the cocoa, in warm (vegetable) milk and, if you want, Refine with the sweetener of your choice.

What are the effects of raw cocoa?

Raw cocoa contains antioxidant substances, is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect, reduces the risk of diabetes and contains high amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese. However, studies indicate that regular cocoa contains the same substances.

Why is raw cocoa often used in ceremonies?

This is because raw cacao has a reputation for being healthier than "regular" cacao. As already mentioned several times, this has not been conclusively clarified scientifically.

Can you also drink raw cocoa?

Raw cocoa powder can also be prepared as a drink.

Is there raw cocoa at dm or Alnatura?

Neither provider offers pure raw cocoa. However, you can buy snacks from dm that contain raw cocoa. However, we cannot provide any information about the quality of the raw cocoa used.

Reading next

Theyo-Tacheles: Kindersklaverei und Bio-Schokolade
Wie Ihr kleinen Schokomanufakturen jetzt helfen könnt