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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 289392, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/289392
Review Article

Cocoa Polyphenols: Can We Consider Cocoa and Chocolate as Potential Functional Food?

1Faculty of Food Technology Osijek, Franje Kuhača 20, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
2Institute of Public Health of the Osijek-Baranja County, F. Krežme 1, 31000 Osijek, Croatia
3Sugar Factory Osijek, Frankopanska 99, 31000 Osijek, Croatia

Received 13 September 2013; Accepted 3 December 2013

Academic Editor: Christophe Blecker

Copyright © 2013 Djurdjica Ackar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Chocolate has been consumed as confection, aphrodisiac, and folk medicine for many years before science proved its potential health benefiting effects. Main compounds of cocoa and chocolate which contribute to human health are polyphenols that act as antioxidants and have potential anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antihepatotoxic, antibacterial, antiviral, antiallergenic, and anticarcinogenic properties. This paper gives a short overview of scientific literature regarding cocoa polyphenols and influence of cocoa and chocolate on human health. Although research on health benefits of dark chocolate and cocoa is quite extensive nowadays and shows potentially beneficial effects of dark chocolate and cocoa, there are still lots of unknowns and some controversies. This is obviously an area that needs more research in order to determine factual influence of chocolate on health.