cacao

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Related to cacao bean: Cocoa beans

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 ?
This decision keeps the ingredient list limited to just a few items and the final product as simple and wholly connected to the cacao bean as possible.
We chose Vinces in the province of Los Rios because here, you'll find the biggest and the most productive haciendas in Ecuador," said the 48-year-old entrepreneur as he led Americas on a tour of the company's facilities and a short history lesson on the importance of cacao beans to Ecuador.
This humorous presentation detailed how the simple cacao bean has become so well loved.
The Aztecs and Mayans of the Americas were the first to recognise the potency of this food, celebrating the harvest of the cacao bean with festivals of wild orgies.
Black pod rot, fungal diseases, frosty pod rot and witches'-broom cause yield losses to the cacao bean crop that totaled nearly 3 million tons in 1999.
Fungal diseases -- black pod rot, frosty pod rot and witches' broom -- have caused severe yield losses to the cacao bean crop, which totaled almost 3 million tons in 1999.
Currently, long-term cacao bean production lags behind consumption by about 3 percent.
Considering the side-effects of CHX mouthrinse and the promising effect of cacao bean husk extract mouthrinse, this study was designed to compare the efficiency of both mouthrinses as antimicrobial agents in children.
All three fungi have caused severe yield losses to the 3-million-ton annual cacao bean crop," says Eric M.
Chapter titles: Overview of the Nutritional Benefits of Cocoa and Chocolate; Cacao Growing and Harvesting Practices; Cacao Bean and Chocolate Processing; Analysis and Nutrient Databases; Cocoa Butter and Constituent Fatty Acids; Cardiovascular Health: Role of Stearic Acid on Atherogenic and Thrombogenic Factors; Carbohydrate and Protein; Phytochemicals and Phenolics; Minerals in Cocoa and Chocolate; Methylxanthines; Obesity: Taste Preferences and Chocolate Consumption; Chocolate Consumption and Glucose Response in People with Diabetes; Chocolate and Dental Health; Food Allergy, Intolerance and Behavioural Reactions; Chocolate and Headache: Is there a Relationship?