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of flavanols (Fig. 8.3). They are produced during fermentation, resulting from simple flavonols undergoing condensation reactions (23, 24). The most common building block is epicatechin. Such oligomeric molecules are often termed tannins, being originally extracted from galls and used in the conversion of hides to leather (25). Leather making relies on the ability of tannins to react with proteins to stabilize their structures. Leucocyanidins are the source of astringency in cocoa products (26).

Examples of leucocyanidins (procyanidins) found in cocoa; most are based on epicatechin. Source: Porter et al. (23).

Examples of leucocyanidins (procyanidins) found in cocoa; most are based on epicatechin. Source: Porter et al. (23).

Somewhat different to the above flavonoids but still containing phenolic structures are clovamide and dideoxyclovamide (Fig. 8.4). Their presence in cocoa has been recently described by Sanbongi et al. (18).

Various simple phenolic compounds have been described in cocoa at one time or another (Table 8.2). Where quantified, these have been found at somewhat lower concentrations than the flavonoids.

A number of minor components have been found in cocoa butter (Table 8.3, Fig. 8.5). These include sterols, terpenes and aliphatic alcohols.

Beneficial Effects of Flavonoids

There is now an extensive literature on a variety of biological effects of flavonoids. We have seen in an earlier section that little work has been done directly

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