Chocolate is one of the most enjoyed sweets by children and adults. They divulge chocolates, as it is one of the most enjoyed sweets in the entire world. Chocolate is known for its speciality for centuries and is used in many sweet dishes to devour our sweet buds. However, have we ever wondered whether chocolate is acidic or alkaline?
The answer is we need to determine whether chocolate has an acidic or alkaline nature to it. It is pre-determined by a parameter called the pH value.
The pH value is measured using the hydrogen value in a substance in an ionic format. Hence, the pH scale measures a particular substance’s acidic and basic alkaline nature. It is measured as the lower the pH, the higher the acidity, whereas the higher the pH value, is more alkaline.
There are many variables used in determining the pH value of chocolates. However, according to the data collected using various research, chocolate has a pH value of six and seven, making it slightly acidic.
Even though a specific pH value is obtained for chocolates, various factors can affect determining the pH value.
Type of Chocolates
There are many types of chocolates found in the market today. Be it regular raw chocolate to different kinds of flavored chocolates, and there is a massive variety in the present world under other brand names.
We will look into the most common raw forms of chocolates available at present.
Even mild chocolates tend to be acidic since they have mixed other ingredients like Milk, Sugar, and chocolate. Mixing these ingredients gives the chocolates a slight acidity but varies according to the percentages mixed accordingly.
Though mild cocoa has a neutral pH value, the average pH here is around 6.5.
The main ingredient found in this type of chocolate is Milk and Cocoa Butter. Since it has a lot of sugar added to milk chocolate compounds, it is often considered acidic.
This type of chocolate contains a smaller percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Whether determines the pH value in white chocolate or not, the chocolate compound was alkalized using other substances like potassium carbonate or dicalcium carbonate.
Raw cocoa beans have a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. This value usually depends on how much fermentation has taken place altogether.
We can observe through the research that dark chocolate has the lowest pH value. It ranging from 5.0 to 6.0, making dark chocolates acidic.
To elaborate more on the effects, the preparation process of chocolates will also affect the pH value. In contrast, how and where the crop was grown, the cocoa bean’s maturity level, and the addition of other ingredients in the manufacturing process affect the acidity and the alkalinity of chocolates.
Most importantly, the type of water used in the manufacturing process of chocolates also plays a massive part in determining whether chocolates can be acidic or basic. Chocolates made using alkaline water will have higher pH giving an alkaline nature to the chocolates than those manufactured using distilled water.
There are various methods we can use and manifest to improve the pH levels of chocolates.
- Addition of cocoa butter to chocolates.
- Using alkalized or Dutch-pressed cocoa powder.
- Choosing good quality cocoa beans.
Is Chocolate Alkaline or Acidic?
Therefore, the most awaited question that pops up here is whether or not chocolates are acidic or alkaline.
Actually, by looking at all possible pieces of evidence, it depends on the type of chocolate. Milk chocolates and white chocolates are more acidic, whereas dark chocolate is in the alkaline spectrum on the pH scale.
Nevertheless, all types of chocolates will contain acids and alkalis, so when we indulge ourselves with any piece of chocolate inside our body, it will naturally be neutralized, giving an overall neutral effect to the body.
What are the Benefits of Eating Chocolate?
When it comes to chocolate, one thing is certain, the more, the purer and darker the chocolate is, it becomes healthier to consume. Compared to milk chocolate and white chocolate, raw chocolate or dark chocolate with high cocoa content is healthier when compared to the other types.
The chocolate industry is very complex. Do you know what Cocoa liquor is? It means when dry cacao beans are ground into a cocoa paste. It’s called cocoa liquor. They become raw cacao nibs, which are the crushed fragments of the beans. After removing the cocoa fat, also known as cocoa butter, from cocoa paste, you get the cocoa solids which are used in the manufacturing process of chocolates.
Strong antioxidants are found in dark chocolate. Epicatechin, a flavonol used in the production of chocolate, is healthy. Plants contain flavonols that prevent oxidative cell damage, and they act against inflammation.
According to research conducted by many experts in the chocolate industry, here are just a few advantages of dark chocolate,
- Increases heart health – Studies have shown that the antioxidants in dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, lower the chances of blood clotting in the heart, and improve blood flow to the heart. These help in lowering the risk of sudden strokes happening in the human body.
- Epicatechin protects cells, strengthens them, and promotes physiological functions that improve insulin sensitivity, which may help to prevent or treat diabetes.
- Enhances brain activity: Dark chocolates have an effect on brain activity, which leads to improved memory, response time, and visual-spatial awareness.
- Enhances athletic performance: epicatechin contained in Dark chocolate boosts blood oxygen levels for better circulation when engaging in moderately strenuous exercise.
- Reduces stress: Consuming dark chocolate associates with lowering the levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
If it is not currently a part of your life, you should think about incorporating dark chocolate due to its health-promoting minerals and chemicals (it is important to note that dark chocolate contains caffeine, which some people may be sensitive to).
Eventually, you should not feel guilty or tensed when indulging in a piece of chocolate, whether it is white chocolate, which has very little nutritional value, or dark chocolate, which is rich in antioxidants, because chocolates are always a part of every occasion in any household.