Cocoa, referred to as the Food of Gods as far back as 1662 by Dr Joseph Bachot, a Paris physician, and formally classified as such (Theobroma cacao) by the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, in 1753, has successfully conquered all countries and continents of the world in just over 500 years since its discovery in the ancient civilisation of the Mayas and Aztecs in South America.
Thanks to its many combinations in a variety of confectionery items, it is consumed by peoples from all walks of life. It suits the opulent taste of the business executive and brings a smile to the face of a child. It provides quick energy to the athlete and prolongs the pleasurable moments of a tender dinner and, not least, it expresses so delicately our gratitude or love for someone.
Many myths have grown up around cocoa and chocolate through attempts to explain or temper the long-standing enthusiasm for these products whilst numerous studies and scientific articles have been produced to acclaim their positive effects or warn against their allegedly detrimental consequences.
As part of its continuous efforts to keep the world at large informed about cocoa and chocolate, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) has decided to undertake the publication of an exhaustive review of the health and nutrition aspects of these products.
The International Cocoa Organization is an intergovernmental organization of some 40 cocoa exporting and importing countries created in 1972/73 under the auspices of the United Nations to promote the development and strengthening of international co-operation in all sectors of the world cocoa economy.
International co-operation is a keyword for ICCO co-operation between producers and consumers, between the private and public sectors and between trade associations and research institutes, with the ultimate objective of enhancing the well-being and satisfaction derived from cocoa and chocolate by the general public. It is, therefore, with a sense of pride and achievement that the International Cocoa Organization presents this study on health and nutrition in cocoa which has been produced in close co-operation with the International Cocoa Research and Education Foundation (ICREF).
ICREF is a non-profit foundation formed in 1994 for educational purposes, including the transfer of scientific research and technology to the public sector. The American Cocoa Research Institute (ACRI) is an associated organization of ICREF, and is dedicated to the performance of basic research studies related to
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