cacao

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cacao

(kəkä`ō, –kā`–), tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculiasterculia
, common name for some members of the Sterculiaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees of tropical and subtropical regions. The most important members of the family are the cacao, source of cocoa and chocolate, and the cola, the caffeine-rich seeds of which are used
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 family), native to South America, where it was first domesticated and was highly prized by the Aztecs. It has been extensively cultivated in the Old World since the Spanish conquest. The fruit is a pod containing a sweetish pulp in which are embedded rows of seeds, the cocoa "beans" of commerce. To obtain cocoa, the harvested pods are fermented by naturally occurring bacteria and yeasts to eliminate their bitter, astringent quality. The seeds are then cured and roasted. The clean kernels, called cocoa nibs, are manufactured into various products. Their large percentage of fat, removed by pressure, is the so-called cocoa butter used in fine soaps and cosmetics and in medicine for emollients and suppositories; the residue is ground to a powder (cocoa) and used for beverages and flavoring. Chocolatechocolate,
general term for the products of the seeds of the cacao or chocolate tree, used for making beverages or confectionery. The flavor of chocolate depends not only on the quality of the cocoa nibs (the remainder after the seeds are fermented, dried, and roasted) and the
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 is a product in which the cocoa butter has been retained. Cacao products have a high food value because of the large proportion of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Cacao is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales, family Sterculiaceae.

Cacao

 

(1) a plant of the genus Theobroma of the family Sterculiaceae and (2) the food product obtained from the seeds of that plant [in English, the term “cocoa” is more commonly used for the food product].

The seeds of cacao beans have a bitter astringent taste, which is caused by the presence of tanins and theobromine, and do not have the aroma and taste characteristic of chocolate products. The color of the beans ranges from violet to gray and white. In order to improve their flavor, freshly picked beans separated from the pulp are fermented for two to seven days. As a result of complex biochemical processes, the beans turn various shades of brown and acquire a pleasant aroma and taste. Next the beans are dried in the sun on plantations or are dried by heated air.

Cacao is a valuable food raw material. The average composition of the kernel (evaluation of the dry substance) is water, 4—6 percent; fat, cocoa butter, 51-54 percent; starch, 7-10 percent; glucose, fructose, 1-2 percent; protein, 10-12 percent; theobromine, caffeine, 1-1.5 percent; tannins, 4-7 percent; acids, 1-2 percent; and mineral substances, 2-3 percent.

After the beans are cleaned, sorted, and thermally treated, they are broken into nibs and finely ground to make ground cacao, which in turn is used to make cocoa butter and chocolate. Cocoa butter is made by pressing the ground cacao. The remaining cake is coarsely broken and pulverized to make cocoa powder, which is used to prepare the beverage cocoa.

cacao

[kə′kau̇]
(botany)
Theobroma cacao. A small tropical tree of the order Theales that bears capsular fruits which are a source of cocoa powder and chocolate. Also known as chocolate tree.

cacao

1. a small tropical American evergreen tree, Theobroma cacao, having yellowish flowers and reddish-brown seed pods from which cocoa and chocolate are prepared: family Sterculiaceae
2. cacao bean another name for cocoa bean
References in periodicals archive ?
A main obstacle of utilizing cocoa pod as an animal feed is its high fiber and low protein contents (Sutikno, 1997).
The authors are grateful to Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Tafo, Eastern Region, Ghana for supplying all the cocoa pod samples as well as technical support.
JoEuo Jose cutting cocoa pod off tree and putting in sack
The cocoa pod husk (CPH) use in this research was collected from cocoa plantation (Perak, Malaysia).
In Western Ghat regions of Malabar, profuse breeding was observed in shed leaf sheaths of areca nut palms and cocoa pods hanging from the trees as well as grounded (5,14).
An insect known as the cocoa pod borer also takes its toll on the big seed pods full of the beans that yield the cocoa powder that is the basic ingredient of luscious chocolate confections adored by consumers everywhere.
1850-1860: The cocoa pod borer, a moth whose larvae infest the cacao fruit, emerges in the Indonesian archipelago.
And when invited to a fancy dress party, she went as a giant cocoa pod.
One such solution seeks to introduce pheromones as a biological control attractant to trap invasive pests such as the cocoa pod borer, a primary threat to the Asian cocoa crop.
Since 2006, the outbreak of the cocoa pod borer disease has decimated harvests and jeopardised the livelihoods of thousands of small farmers in East New Britain and Bougainville.
Cocoa pod husk used as fertilizers has been tested on some crops.
The Barry Colenso Collection contains a selection of chocolates are moulded in the shape of a cocoa pod with a sleek, high gloss finish.