The antioxidant capacity of cocoa products: contribution to the Spanish diet

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Chocolate and soluble cocoa powders are dietary sources of antioxidants. The literature reports antioxidant capacity (AC) derived from aqueous-organic extracts of cocoa polyphenols; however, the residue of these extracts contains appreciable amounts of nonextractable polyphenols (condensed tannins or proanthocyanidins), which may become bioactive antioxidants after colonic fermentation. The objective of this work was to determine the total AC of cocoa products including both extractable and nonextractable polyphenols. Three methods were used: ferric reducing/antioxidant power, 2,2,-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl and 2,2′-azinobis (3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) cations' free-radical scavenging capacity. With this last method, AC ranged from 42 to 79 and from 22 to 60 μmol Trolox per gram of sample for extractable and nonextractable polyphenols, respectively. Addition of milk reduces the AC of cocoa products by about 30%. On the other hand, it was estimated that cocoa products account for about 10% of the total AC of the Spanish diet.

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