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HPLC reveals why Easter Eggs are good for you!

The research we have based this article on doesn’t directly relate to Easter eggs but it does relate to chocolate and if you are going to be eating an Easter egg on Sunday we’re fairly certain it will be a chocolate one.

Theobroma cacao — which means ‘food of the gods’ - is a plant native to Central America and it is from this aptly named plant that we get cocoa beans. After the cacoa beans have been harvested they are fermented, dried, roasted and finally ground up to produce cocoa mass, the main ingredient in chocolate. Basically the Theobromo cacao (a.k.a the Cocoa Tree) is the best plant on earth.

Chocolate is made from cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vanilla and sugar and, to make milk chocolate, milk is also added. The addition of milk is thought to make a difference to the health benefits of the chocolate. Dark chocolate has a higher percentage of cocoa solids than milk chocolate, typically over 60%, and contains no milk and less sugar.

So what makes chocolate good for you?

The answer lies in Polyphenols.

Polyphenols are a group of micronutrients that we consume as part of our diet. The health benefits of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and how available they are in the foods which contain them. There are different types of polyphenols and the group that are found in chocolate are known as flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables, tea and cocoa.

A study using HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) shows two of the flavonoids linked with the health benefits brought by polyphenols are catechin and epicatechin, and both are found in cocoa. Flavonoids have been proven to help prevent cardiovascular disease and reduce cholesterol.

So if you chose an Easter egg with a high cocoa quantity (sorry milk chocolate fans – dark chocolate is where you will find the high cocoa quantities) eating it could help keep your heart healthy.

So you don’t need any excuses this Sunday – Easter Eggs are good for you!

Liked this article? Find out what happened last Easter at Peak here.

Using ELSD with your HPLC?    

Source: Chromatography Today

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