Abstract: Cocoa beans contain many functional ingredients such as theobromine and polyphenols, but also contain a relatively high amount of caffeine, which can negatively impact human health. It is therefore desirable to reduce caffeine levels in cocoa powder used to make chocolate or cocoa beverages while retaining functional ingredients. We have established conditions for supercritical carbon dioxide (SCCO2) extraction that remove 80.1% of the caffeine from cocoa powder while retaining theobromine (94.1%) and polyphenols (84.7%). The antioxidant activity of the decaffeinated cocoa powder (DCP) made with this optimized SCCO2 extraction method was 85.3% that of non-processed cocoa powder. The total procyanidin and total polyphenol concentrations of the DCPs resulting from various SCCO2 extractions showed a significant positive correlation with oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC). The correlation coefficient between total polyphenols and ORAC was higher than that between total procyanidins and ORAC; thus, the concentration of total polyphenols might be a greater factor in the antioxidant activity of DCP. These results indicate that we could remove large quantities of caffeine from conventional high-cocoa products while retaining the functional benefits of high polyphenol content. This SCCO2 extraction method is expected to be applicable high-cocoa products, such as dark chocolate.
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Kobori, K.; Maruta, Y.; Mineo, S.; Shigematsu, T.; Hirayama, M. Polyphenol-Retaining Decaffeinated Cocoa Powder Obtained by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction and Its Antioxidant Activity. Foods 2013, 2, 462-477.
Kobori K, Maruta Y, Mineo S, Shigematsu T, Hirayama M. Polyphenol-Retaining Decaffeinated Cocoa Powder Obtained by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction and Its Antioxidant Activity. Foods. 2013; 2(4):462-477.
Kobori, Kinji; Maruta, Yuto; Mineo, Shigeru; Shigematsu, Toru; Hirayama, Masao. 2013. "Polyphenol-Retaining Decaffeinated Cocoa Powder Obtained by Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Extraction and Its Antioxidant Activity." Foods 2, no. 4: 462-477.