as cocoa [kaˈkaʊ] one designates the seeds of the Kakaobaumes (Kakaobohnen) and the powder made of it. Cocoa is an important export product of numerous developing countries and serves the production of chocolate. Cocoa also the beverage prepared from cocoa powder, milk and sugar is called(see to cocoa (beverage)). The word cocoa has its origin in the Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. From term cacahuatl for the Kakaobohne, used there, is derived the Spanish cacao .

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the divinity Quetzalcoatl, representation from Yaxchilan

see also history of the cocoa beverage.
The history of the cultivation of cocoa begins in Central America. The Aztecs knew the plant sincethat 14. Century, where it was considered as holy and as gift of the God Quetzalcoatl regarded and was admired. The beans won from the fruit were used however not only as Opfergabe, but also as currencies and for the preparation of a herb--spicy beverage, with the today'sCocoa geschmacklich seen together did not have much. Its name follows the God:Xocóatl. The beverage was a mixture from water, cocoa, corn, vanilla and sharp pepper. When the Spanish “Conquistadores “subjected 1519 Mexico conquered and the Aztecs,discovered they very fast that brown gold was pleased them into the hands. In the vaults of Moctezuma II., the last aztekischen king, the Spaniards found 25,000 hundredweights cocoa. If one considers that a slave cost 100 Kakaobohnen at this time, was this inenormous wealth.

world production and cultivation of Kakaobohnen

Zehn Staaten produzieren 92,5 % der weltweiten Ernte von Kakaobohnen
ten states produce 92.5% of the world-wide harvest of Kakaobohnen

cocoa in countries cultivated, which are in the proximity of the equator, it give however some exceptions. The main cultivation areas have themselves in the meantime from Central America to Africa shifts. The country with the largest cocoa production of the world is the Ivory Coast with 1 million And 34.2% of the world-wide harvest of the yearly 2002, the 2.922 millions produce tons of Kakaobohnen Tons amounted to.

Further important cocoa producers 2002 are:

Most important export countries are the Ivory Coast, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil. Also in the southeast of Cuba becomesCocoa cultivated.

The cultivation differs on the continents clearly. In America one cultivates the cocoa on large Plantagen , whereby the natural surrounding field is lost and for Monokulturen to form. Because of its sensitivity to sun and wind the cocoa plant often becomes together with Schattenpflanzen (cocoa nut/mother),for example bananas, cultivated.

The conditions of work are very bad: Hungerlöhne are paid, the work time are too high and to Kinderarbeit are at the agenda.

The cocoa is processed predominantly in Europe and the USA. Principal clients are world-wide predominantly the USA, the Netherlands and Germany.


Kakaoherstellung in Ghana: Trocknen der Bohnen auf einem Trockengestell in der Sonne. Darunter Fermentation der frischen Bohnen eingewickelt in Bananenblätter
cocoa production in Ghana: Dry the beans on a drying rack in the sun. Among them have fermentation of the fresh beans in-wound into

banana leaves over from the fruit cores of the Kakaobaums, the one high content of bitter materials and not yet after chocolatetaste to win cocoa several steps are necessary:

  1. Fermentation: The by hand picked cocoa fruits are broken open and the seeds (Kakaobohnen) with that them from coating Fruchtfleisch are taken. The beans now up to 10 days are fermented (process of the fermentation), to it their typical brown colorreceived and the typical flavour developed. It is important that the beans begin to germinate briefly and die then. During the fermentation the beans and the Fruchtfleisch warm up to for instance 50°C; the coating Fruchtfleisch liquefies and separates from the beans. Micro organisms, which thoseFermentation support, by insects (flies) on the Fruchtfleisch are left.
  2. Dry: The beans are spread until two weeks in the sun and lose up to 50% of their weight; the fermentation finds its conclusion. After the drying process the water content of the Kakaobohnen amounts to only7% or less. In better equipped Plantagen the beans in heated Trocknern are dried.

After this work procedure the beans are filled up into bags and transported into the processing countries, mainly in Europe and North America, where the beans are then converted to cocoa mass.

Work on []

One oxidizes chemical view

of the cocoa fermentation with the fermentation a part of the sugar of the cocoa fruit meat and the bean first to alcohol and then to acetic acid. Acetic acid decomposes the plant material and sets flavour materials free. During following drying acetic acid is removed to a large extent.

cocoa places


the cocoa imported in Europe originated originally almost exclusively from Venezuela. In Venezuela of native cocoa one calls since that time “Criollo “(splinter “More native, Kreole”), cocoa places, which were inserted later into Venezuela, as” Forastero “(splinter “Fremdling”). ThatForastero has its origin in the jungles of Amazon - of the area. All Varietäten of the Kakaobaumes probably decreases/goes back to these two Grundtypen. For late plants , with which it acts around hybrids out of Criollo and Forastero, introduced from Trinidad, one selects in the meantime the own designation“Trinitario “. In addition the Ecuador cocoa takes under Forastero cocoa by its pronounced flavour the privileged position and also as “Nacional” is designated.

Therefore the following organization was established cocoa places in four Grundtypen:

  • Criollo (for example Ocumare)
  • Trinitario (for example Carupano)
  • Nacional (for exampleArriba, Balao)
  • Forastero (for example Bahia)

this organization does not state anything over the genetic relationship cocoa places. With that traditionally as Criollo it concerns designated venezolanischen cocoa one does not pure-bend itself Varietät. This today's Criollo is rather related to the Trinitario. Original Criollo is very rarely and occurs only in isolated regions of Venezuela and Central America.

The Criollo is considered as the noblest one under cocoa. It is usually little säuerlich, hardly bitter and possesses apart from a mild cocoa taste minted Nebenaromen. Most Forasteros has a stronger cocoa taste,are hardly aromatically and partly bitter or säuerlich. The Forastero nevertheless possesses the greatest importance for the world market due to its robustness and its high yields. Also very good of Ecuador cocoa like the well-known Arriba ranks among noble cocoa. Trinitario cocoa know a strong taste, a light acidand expression-strong flavours bring out. Since the taste of the cocoa depends not alone on the genes of the plants, but also on the soil and the climatic conditions, one differentiates their cultivation areas beside the numerous cocoa places also.

cocoa or chocolate as craze means?

The only cocoa component,able to be could to release a well-being feeling is the Phenylethylamin. The molecule of this material is very just as those the Amphetamine, as for example Ecstacy, and can also the payment of Dopamine in the brain arrange. Thus it affects parts of theBrain, which are responsible for luck and desire feeling. A hundred-gram board contains up to 700 mg (0.7%) of it, usually however less (50-100 mg). Further are contained Theobromin , Coffein , Anandamid and Salsolinol. Theobromin for example stimulates the central nervous system, however not so strongly howother alkaloids. Koffein works energizing, is however in the cocoa contained in substantially smaller quantities than in the coffee or dte. Anandamid occurs naturally in the human body and binds there to the same receptors as the THC. The effect of Salsolinol is still unclear.

Despitethese contents materials are so small the quantities that one would have to eat 20 to 30 kg of full milk chocolate, in order to be able to feel a berauschende effect.


  • Heinrich Fincke: Manual of the products of cocoa. Springer publishing house, Berlin, 1965

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Wiktionary: Cocoa - word origin, synonyms andTranslations

of comparisons: Carob

see also: Fair trade


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