What is Cacao?
Cacao is what Linnaeus called Theobroma from Theos, meaning "god", and broma "food" or food of the gods. It brings well-being and satisfaction and science now confirms that cacao not only makes you happier, as it is able to promote the production of endorphins, but also healthier. The plant's treasures are undoubtedly contained mainly in the beans enclosed in its fruit pod. The beans can be eaten raw or they can be made into nibs or powder depending on how they will be consumed.
The Cacao Plant
The wild cacao plant is very diversified. Throughout its history it has given rise to a huge variety within its species due to numerous mutations. The plant grows upwards, reaching heights of 2 metres then the branches extend to form a roof, reaching up to 3 metres. The cacao plant bears fruit in a continuous cycle, but in general each plant has two crops, one before and one after the rainy season. It takes about 6 months from flowering to the ripening of the pods, which are the fruit. The life of a plant is about 25 years and it is not a plant suitable for intensive cultivation.
Where Cacao is grown
Cacao is a tropical tree whose natural habitat is in the lower layer of the rainforest. All cacao species need regions where the temperature and humidity are high, rains are intense and the shade is dense. The plant only grows below 1000 m altitude on slightly acidic and moist but well-drained soils. Its preferred habitat, therefore, is in tropical forests where it finds a constant climate all year round with abundant precipitation well distributed throughout the year.
History of Cacao
The earliest evidence of rudimentary chocolate production dates back to 1800 BC in the areas of Central America in today's Mexico. Mayan history is also closely connected to cacao; they were probably the first to cultivate the plants. Cacao was also very important from an economic point of view and, with the development of the Toltec and Aztec civilisations, cacao beans were also used as money.
Christopher Columbus was the first to become aware of cacao when, in 1502, the Aztec chief offered the white explorers from far away hospitality and cacao beans, the currency of the country. Cacao subsequently arrived in Europe and is still appreciated all over the world. Today cacao beans are a commodity and thus a primary product that constitutes a fundamental item of international exchange with a single global valor.
Taste & Texture
Cacao is available as beans, nibs or powder. Cacao powder is fine and fragrant with an intense brown colour. Cacao can have varied aromas but they must be intense and persistent. To the touch, and by touch we mean the tactile sensations when the tongue comes into contact with cacao, the cacao should display fineness and roundness, while astringency or the sensation of diminishing salivation must be almost absent.
How to consume Cacao Powder?
Organic Cacao powder is considered one of the best ways to include this precious source of sustenance in your diet.
Cacao powder can be added as an ingredient in your sweet recipes like cakes and biscuits... but it can also be dissolved to make smoothies, beverages and milk drinks.
Cacao powder can be used in the following ways:
- in yogurt or milk
- in dough for muffins, brownie and cookie
- as a chocolate shake
- as an ingredient for homemade cakes and desserts
- in smoothies and drinks
- in oat porridge, in cereals or muesli
- in the preparation of biscuits, creams and mousse
- as a decoration for coffee or cappuccino
At NaturaleBio we sell and market Cacao Powder, Cacao Beans and Cacao Nibs.
How raw Cacao is processed
Harvest: harvesting and processing is done almost entirely manually.
Fermentation: the beans are completely covered with a white, gelatinous substance that triggers the fermentation process that can last from 5 to 7 days.
Stirring: during fermentation, the beans are stirred every day with special blades; this is also done manually.
Drying: the cacao beans are dried in the sun at low temperatures to stop the fermentation process.
Cleaning and selection: the beans are cleaned using a machine made up of cylinders and divided according to their size.
Grinding and pressing: the beans are crushed into nibs and then ground to become " cacao paste " which is then pressed to separate the cacao butter.
Grinding: this process further reduces the particle size of the powder until it becomes very fine, a machine made of steel cylinders that rotate on themselves is used and finally the powder is sieved.
Our cacao powder is 100% pure and organic. It is produced exclusively in Peru in organic plantations and is approved by the control body of the Ministry of Agriculture. Our cacao comes from Peru, in South America, one of the leading countries in the world for the quality of cacao, with a tradition dating back thousands of years.
At NaturaleBio, we carefully select all our organic products.
Organic cacao powder is considered one of the best ways to include this precious food in your diet.
Controlled Operator Number: 13084 IT BIO 014
|100% Organic Cacao Powder
|Organic product under EU Directive 834/2007
|Country of Origin
|Read the Expiry date on the Packaging. (generally two years from packaging)
|Store in a cool, dry place away from heat sources even after opening.
|Mean nutritional values per
|1409 kJ / 339 kcal
|of which saturates
|of which sugars