is the dried and partially fermented fatty seed of the cacao tree from
which chocolate is made.
"Cocoa" can often also refer to the drink commonly known as hot
are over 20 species in the genus but the cocoa tree Theobroma cacao is
the only one cultivated widely.
being a tropical crop, India offers considerable scope for the
development. Cocoa is mainly grown in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh
and Tamil Nadu.
Growth and Cultivation
cocoa trees only thrive in tropical temperatures within the protective
shadow of tall-growing plants such as banana plants or palm trees.
the burning sun and the strong winds are merciless enemies of this
cocoa tree flowers in two cycles of 6 months the whole year round.
Average rainfall of 1250-3000 mm. per annum and preferably between
1500-2000mm. with a dry season of not more than 3 months with less than
100mm. rain per month is ideal, but the quantity is less important than
distribution. Rainfall can be supplemented with irrigation during dry
Temperature varying between 30-320C mean maximum and 18-210C mean
minimum but around 250C is considered to be a favourable. It canít be
grown commercially in areas where the minimum temperature fall below
100C and annual average temperature is less than 210C.
Production of cocoa, the key ingredient in chocolate, has expanded and
increased sharply during the twentieth century. Cocoa is produced by
more than fifty developing countries across Asia, Africa and Latin
America Ė all of which are in tropical or semi-tropical areas.
estimated that 70% of world cocoa production comes from small
holdings.It is estimated that there are currently 2.5 million cocoa
contain a high level of flavonoids, specifically epicatechin, which may
have beneficial cardiovascular effects on health.
ingestion of flavonol-rich cocoa is associated with acute elevation of
circulating nitric oxide, enhanced flow-mediated vasodilation, and
rich in cocoa appear to reduce blood pressure.
seeds are processed into cocoa powder for use mainly to make chocolate
and cocoa butter. Cocoa pulp can be eaten fresh or made into cocoa
be used in cakes, creams, drinks, toppings.
Besides its use as a food, scientists discovered cocoa is beneficial for
health. Cocoa has twice the anti-cancer antioxidants of red wine, and up
to three times those found in green tea.
economic growth of many of the Least Developed Countries is closely
linked with cocoa production, as well as other primary commodities. Many
producer countries depend on cocoa exports for a large part of their
foreign exchange earnings and government revenue.
prices are highly volatile. Global demand for cocoa is expected to be
strong going forward. Cocoa demand has been growing at an average rate
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