Cacao and cocoa come from the same source, which is the cacao bean, but they undergo different processes that affect their nutrient content. Cocoa refers to cacao beans that have been roasted at high temperatures, while cacao typically refers to unroasted or minimally processed cacao beans.
One of the main differences between cocoa and cacao is their antioxidant content. Antioxidants are important compounds that protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation, which are linked to various chronic diseases. Cacao is generally considered to be a richer source of antioxidants compared to cocoa, as the roasting process can reduce the antioxidant content of the beans (1).
A study published in the journal Food Chemistry found that raw cacao beans had higher antioxidant activity and polyphenol content compared to roasted cocoa beans (2). Another study published in the journal Molecules found that cacao powder had higher levels of flavanols, which are a type of antioxidant, compared to cocoa powder (3). In addition to antioxidants, cacao is also a good source of minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that consuming cacao powder increased iron levels in the body, especially in people with low iron status (4).
However, it's important to note that the terms "cocoa" and "cacao" are often used interchangeably in the food industry, and the nutrient content of these products can vary depending on how they are processed and prepared. For example, some cacao products may be roasted at low temperatures, while some cocoa products may be minimally processed and retain more of their antioxidant content. Which is why at Sacred Taste, we have carefully curated our superfood cacao cacao blends, into nourishing and delicious healthy cacao drinks for you to enjoy.
Our raw Cacao drinks contain a high antioxidant content and nutrient profile making them the perfect healthy cacao drink. We believe it is important to choose high-quality cacao products that are minimally processed and free from additives and sweeteners to ensure that you are getting the most health benefits.
The Sacred Family
Oracz J, Zyzelewicz D, Nebesny E. Antioxidant properties of raw and roasted cocoa beans from different origins. Food Chem. 2015 Jul 1;179:293-7.
Lee KW, Kim YJ, Lee HJ, et al. Cocoa has more phenolic phytochemicals and a higher antioxidant capacity than teas and red wine. J Agric Food Chem. 2003 Dec 3;51(25):7292-5.
Osorio-Tobón JF, Sánchez-Sánchez MA, Zambrano-Serrano JA, et al. Comparison of the total polyphenols and flavonoids of cocoa- and coffee-based drinks with those of plant-based beverages. Molecules. 2020 Jul 28;25(15):3451.
Di Lorenzo C, Colombo E, Biella S, et al. Effect of dark chocolate on plasma epicatechin levels, DNA resistance to oxidative stress and total antioxidant activity in healthy subjects. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jun;109(12):2196-202.