Organic Cacao (Choc) Powder
Put simply, this is chocolate at it's celestial best.
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Our PromiseThat our products are free from GMO, fillers, additives, preservatives and pesticides. And to tell you about our products, from 'seed to table', so that you know their origin, growing and processing (tab below).
WHAT IS THIS GEM and WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
A fact that is not commonly known, is that Cacao is classified by science as an IMMUNOMODULATOR: which essentially means it modulates the immune system; strengthening, balancing, supporting and regulating the immune system, optimising immune response. Science suggests that Cacao's Immunomodulatory effect originates from one of the main bioactive compounds, the polyphenols, which are a group of anti-oxidants, anti-oxidants play an important role in preventing the body being put under stress from oxidation, but be careful, polyphenols are bitter tasting, which means they are sometimes removed to be more palatable. Another compound in Cacao, Theobromine, has been suggested by studies to increase the absorption of the Polyphenols. Nature working together. :)
In addition to anti-oxidative effects, Cacao various compounds (Anandamide, Phenylethlamine, Tryptophan and Serotonin) have also been studied to potentially be anti-inflammatory, improve skin health, mood and cognitive performance as well as act as a prebiotic. Cacao also contains one of the highest levels of Magnesium in the natural world, magnesium is an important nutrient required for many functions in the body (blood sugar control, nerve and muscle function, energy production, helps develop bones, and protein synthesis (to name just a few)), making it important to maintain the right levels.
Head over to the history tab for more about its origin, the science tab to delve into the research or the kitchen tab for some tasty recipes.
OUR CACAO POWER
- Polyphenols (anti-oxidant),
- Anandamide (bliss chemical),
- Phenyethylamine (nootropic).
- Saturated fats:
- Arachidic acid,
- Linoleic acid,
- Oleic acid,
- Palmitic acid,
- Palmitoleic acid,
- Stearic acid, and
- other fatty acids.
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OUR CACAO POWER
THE MAGIC OF HEALTH SCIENCE*
Cacaos anti-oxidative effects have been suggested to possess; anti-inflammatory and DNA repair activities—DNA being the building blocks of the body and its functions—when the DNA is compromised it has the potential to be more susceptible to disease. (5, 10, 18)
A study was carried out based on the current "Super-food" and "Super-fruit" phenomenon, in an effort to try to clarify where fruits / foods sit on the scale-based on their anti-oxidant profile. When compared to acai, blueberry, cranberry and pomegranate, Cacao powder came out on top with more than double that of the other powdered fruits. (12).
See the other benefits below to see the full extent of Cacaos polyphenols and their impact on your health!
Due to all these actions in the body, when you have the right levels of Magnesium in the system your body is able to preform optimally.
Studies have been performed surrounding the benefits of the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cacaos polyphenols, suggest that they may promote anti-tumor effects. (23, 5, 7)
For tumors to grow they need to form blood vessels, this is called 'Angiogenesis'. The proanthocyanidin component of the polyphenols (anti-oxidant micro-nutrients) within Cacao have been shown to have anti-angiogenesis effects. (2, 13)
Other recent studies suggest that when you consume foods and/or beverages containing theobromine (abundant in Cacao), they can be effective in preventing glioblastoma—which is the most common form of brain tumor. (1)
The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Cacaos polyphenols have also been suggested by to promote anti-tumor effects and enhance the efficacy of cancer drug treatments (tamoxifen, which is used to treat breast cancer). (4)
The awesome contents of the polyphenols (micro-nutrients) in Cacao have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect. (6, 15, 23, 24, 25)
The polyphenols in cacao have also been suggested by science to trigger neuroprotective activity in diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinson's. (19, 3)
Another bitter bioactive compound in Cacao is the theobromine, this compound effects your mood (similarly to caffeine, but without the unwanted side effects), It has also been suggested that it has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant capacity. Interestingly, studies have shown that the theobromine in Cacao aids the absorption of the polyphenols in Cacao.
NOTE: Theobromine is the compound that can be toxic to dogs, cats and other animals, causing a variety of symptoms including; hyperactivity, trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea and in some instances seizures and possible death. :(
The name comes from ananda, the Sanskrit word for "bliss". Anandamide (AEA) is classified as a fatty acid nootropic classed as a canabinoid as it impacts the nervous system and binds to the canabinoid receptors in the brain. Anandamide has also been shown to potentially have anti-inflammatory effects as well as a calming and mood lifting, "bliss effect". So anandamide doesn't only help you feel blissful directly, but is also helps prevent the breakdown of other compounds that make you feel blissful - Nature is PHENOMENAL!
- PHENYLETHYLAMINE (PEA), TRYPTOPHAN, SERATONIN
It has been suggested that phenylethylamine has the ability to increase dopamine (which is another pleasure receptor in the brain). From the science that we have found, it suggests that this in only found in cacao in trace amounts (around 3mg per kg), and you need around 400mg per day...
Not only does cacao help prevent the breakdown of tryptophan, but it has been shown to contain trace amounts of the compound which is the precursor for seratonin, and also trace amounts of seratonin (approx. 2.7mg per 100g).
Although these may not be a primary active compounds, they certainly add to Cacaos healthy compound arsenal.
Opposite are the studies we've found which are explained below, as new studies are released we will update them here.
We welcome constructive comments and dialects, encouraging you to send us a message via our contact page.
A SHORT HISTORY
It’s hard to pin down the exact origin of Cacao due to wild and diverse amazonian landscape where it comes from. Although, archeological digs have been able to trace it to the Olmec, Mayan and Aztecs, between 1900-900BC, where cacaos active ingredient theobromine has been found in their pottery and ceramics - pretty cool!
Obviously Cacao powder is a direct product from Cacao beans, so the history is relating directly to cacao rather than the Cacao Powder directly. Opposite is the history of Cacao.
Chocolate at every meal - YES PLEASE!
Interestingly, it would seem that the first association of Chocolate and love, which may be a westernised assumption, was when the Mayans drank cacao during marriage ceremonies. But since it was also used during baptisms, and other religious ceremonies, it would appear that they just LOVED chocolate! And who wouldn't! Here at The Grove we definitely go with "chocolate is the food of love".
Having overthrown the Mayan people and taken their lands, the Aztecs also began using cacao as currency. And were known to mix cacao with tobacco and smoke it.
Christopher Columbus originally discovered the fruit in 1502, with his Son noticing that the natives valued it greatly, having been reported to say "for when they were brought on board ship together with their goods, I observed that when any of these almonds fell, they all stooped to pick it up, as if an eye had fallen." Although Columbus took them back to Spain, they were not embraced until Spanish Friars took them back and introduced them to the Spanish nobel court called chocolatl.
The wealthy French were said to be touting a cacao drink as being delicious and healthy.
The French had moved it to the Uk and opened a hot chocolate house, leading to this kind of houses popping up throughout the England.
Cacao spread quickly and throughout Europe, many countries were producing chocolatey products from cacao. When the steam engine was introduced it made production costs much lower, and so chocolate became accessible to all and not just a product enjoyed by the wealthy.
DOCUMENTED medicinal uses of Cacao:
This is the Aztec manuscript of all things medicinal in the aztec world. The content is unique in that the information it is exactly as the Aztecs described, with no alterations or interpretations.
Cacao flowers to treat fatigue. Cacao bark, flowers, butter and leaves were used to treat skin conditions such as burns, cuts and irritations.
This is an encyclopaedia of all things Spanish, there are a few books, one of which is dedicated to the aztecs, in this book it is referenced that Cacao beans, maize and the herb tlacoxochitl (Calliandra anomala) are prescribed for fever, shortness of breath and heart issues.
There are various manuscripts during this period that mention the use of Cacao for around 100+ medicinal purposes, some of which have not been substantiated by science including:
- organ health and function,
- poor appetite,
- mental fatigue,
- poor breast milk production,
- kidney stones,
- longevity, and
- poor sexual appetite/low virility.
PRODUCT OF PERU.
PACKAGED IN AUSTRALIA WITH LOVE.
THE LIFE OF CACAO POWDER
Cacao trees generally grow in a tropical climate (humid with high rain fall), usually at altitudes below 1000ft. They do not grow very well in dry climates. Although many countries now grow Cacao, the tree originates in the Amazon basin.
The Cacao tree is an evergreen and can grow up to 15-25ft tall, with the flowers and fruit growing directly on the trunk. The fruit/pod can grow to around 30cm in length, starting life green, turning yellow, red or purple when ripe and ready for harvesting, with each fruit/pod containing around 50 cacao seeds (beans) surrounded by a white sugary pulp.
The Grove Cacao comes from the Amazon basin and is the Criollo Theobroma Cacao Heirloom variety from Satipo, Peru. This region is known locally as the Queen of Cacao because of its fine aroma and distinctive flavour that is typical of the Creoles of South America.
The International Cacao Organisation (ICCO) has been growing steadily due to the increased demand for quality cacao products. They support Cacao farmers, and have introduced many to Organic methods and techniques for farming and post-harvest processing, as well as making great efforts to ensure sustainability, traceability and transparency.
The Grove Cacao is cultivated by a small group group of farmers whose ancestors have farmed these fruit for thousands of years. They are registered with the World Fair Trade Organisation and certified Organic with the USDA and EU by the Control Union. Through this they receive technical, social and financial assistance to ensure that they are able to continue to provide a consistent, quality product.
The Grove Cacao, although can be grown in Australia, is not of the quality and flavour that can be obtained as well as it can from the Peruvian Andes, hence our decision to import this product.
The Cacao is sustainably, fair traded and organically grown in Andes of Peru (Satipo) which is a region at the edge of the Amazon basin. Each family in the co-operative has about 2 hectares of criollo cacao and coffee bushes grown in the forest of larger trees - mainly pacae and other forest trees. Once they are ready to be harvested, the cacao pods are harvested from the trees, cracked open and the beans (seeds) removed.
They beans are fermented at 45C (it is important for the temperature not to exceed 45C as it will effect the nutrient structure and taste), once fermentation is complete they are washed, organically disinfected and then dried for 6 hours at a controlled temperature or until 5% humidity. The beans are then ready to be peeled and broken down into nibs and milled to a paste (making Cacao Liquor). The Liquor is then heated to approx. 60C and put through a high pressure-press to obtain the Cacao Butter leaving the Cacao Powder which comes out as a hard cake. It is then milled to a fine powder.
The Cacao powder is then bulk packed, put on a ship and sails to Australia and arrives at The Grove HQ approximately 12 weeks later.
Once it arrives at The Grove HQ we carry out quality control checks and repackage it ready for you.
GET IN THE KITCHEN
OUR CACAO POWDER
I use the complex Mushroom powder, Cordyceps and Ashwagandha powder in my protein smoothie every morning. I add the Cacao powder to make it taste amazing. I've already noticed higher energy levels and focus and my moods have improved. The Cacao puts any other chocolate powder to shame, It isn't too bitter and it tastes like real chocolate, I could add it to everything! The mushrooms are my favourite supplement now, I add them into hot chocolate, coffee and I can't wait to try adding them to soups.