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Difference Between Cacao and Cocoa

Cacao vs Cocoa

Is there really a difference between cacao and cocoa? Most people think that these two are the same and there is only a difference in the spelling. Though the two terms are related to each other, they are different.

Cacao is a bean from cacao plant. The scientific name of cacao is Theobroma cacao. Cacao pods are large in size, which grow from the limbs and trunk of the tree and the beans are seen inside the pods.

When the pods are in the tree, it is known as cacao. And Cocoa is a term that is used for the cacao seed after it has been harvested. The beans once harvested are fermented and dried and these beans are known as cocoa. In other words, cocoa is the refined or processed product of cacao.

Where cacao is raw and unadulterated, cocoa is cooked and adulterated.

When in powdered state, the cacao refers to raw and unsweetened powder, whereas cocoa has a flavour in it as it still contains small quantities of cocoa butter. One can also see the difference in the ORAC value of cacao powder and cocoa powder. The ORAC value of cacao powder is 95,500 and cocoa powder has an ORAC value of 26,000.

Cacao is known to contain more than 300 compounds that include carbohydrates, fat, protein, copper, fiber, iron, calcium, zinc, sulphur and magnesium. But once the pods are heated or processed, they lose much of their nutritional value.
Cacao has a calorie content of 121 gm’s when compared to cocoa, which has a 115 gm’s calorie content. Cacao contains 5 gm’s of fat, compared to 2.8 gm’s in cocoa. Cacao also contains 14 gm’s of carbs whereas cocoa has a higher carbohydrate presence of 16.8 gm’s.

Summary

1. When the pods are in the tree, they are known as cacao. Cocoa is a term that is used for cacao seeds after they have been harvested.
2. Cocoa are the refined or processed products of cacao.
3. Where cacao is raw and unadulterated, cocoa is cooked and adulterated.
4. The ORAC value of cacao powder is 95,500 and cocoa powder has an ORAC value of 26,000.
5. Cacao is known to contain more than 300 compounds. But once the pods are heated or processed, they lose much of their nutritional value.
6. Cacao and cocoa have differences in their calorie, fat and carbohydrate content.


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