10 Years of Blog Archive

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cocoa Named Best Tasting in Ecuador

Ecuador Cocoa Wins Award – El Universo Guayaquil, Ecuador

The Ecuadorian cacao was named best in the world, at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris, France, an event that was held from 19 to 21 October, 2011. in the third edition of the International Cocoa Awards.

Two samples of Ecuador, of the 50 pre-selected worldwide, were honored.

Cocoa Sulagro company, located in Balao, Guayas Province, owned by Vicente Norero, was rated the best for quality floral, and the Farmers Association Catarama, Los Rios, whose president is Hector OcaƱa as the best cocoa beans by geographic region.

Also participated in the competition West and Central Africa (13 samples), South America (17 samples), Central America and the Caribbean (13 samples), Southeast Asia and Pacific (7 samples). In South America, Colombia and Brazil were awarded with one sample.

The National Association of Exporters of Cocoa (ANECACAO) was the institution responsible for the selection, preparation and shipment of samples to Paris for the contest.

Cocoa and Your Health

For years we have known about the nutritional properties of cocoa.  Frank has been drinking cocoa with raw bee’s honey for 20-years. Just the other day, Frank was saying how rich tasting the cocoa was here in Ecuador--its really good!

We both agree the cocoa here is quite fresh and full-bodied. Both coffee beans and cocoa are grown in Ecuador. Funny though, both are more expensive to buy here than in North America.

We must have passed by two dozen cocoa farms on the way up from Guayaquil to Cuenca during our busetta (Van) drive. You can see the video here.

There is some cocoa in every chocolate candy bar. But chocolate is not really that good for you.  The scant amount of cocoa in a chocolate bar is so small that you’d have to eat a dozen candy bars to receive the antioxidant properties, and by then it would truly exceed being good for your health, considering all of what else is in a candy bar.

Dark chocolate that is about 75% cocoa does have nutritional properties, however. So for your health, go for the darkest chocolate you can find with no sugar added.

Cocoa Nutrition

Cocoa powder has no cholesterol and is very low sodium and no sugar. Interestingly enough, cocoa is very high in dietary fiber which is a good thing for overall health. Mineral content of cocoa is very high in iron, manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. 

Cocoa beans contain antioxdents called flavonoids . The antioxidant flavinoids are found in the nonfat portions of the cocoa bean. The flavinoids also reduce the blood's ability to clot, which  reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks. A cup or two of hot cocoa every day is good for your health!

In the ORAC chart raw cocoa powder is at the top of the antioxidant list with almost four times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries.

ORAC scores for the Top 10 Antioxidants Foods (per 100 grams)

1) Raw cocoa powder* 95,500

2) Raw cacao nibs* 62,100

3) Roasted cocoa powder 26,000

4) Organic Goji Berries* 25,300

5) Acai Berries* 18,500

6) Dark Chocolate 13,120

7) Milk Chocolate 6,740

8) Prunes 5,770

9) Raisins 2,830

10) Blueberries 2,400

Source: US department of Agriculture/Journal of American Chemical Society

Where to Buy Cocoa Powder in Cuenca

Not all cocoa powder is the same, however. We have only found one brand here in Cuenca that is sugarless. All the rest have sugar added to the powder. The sugar mixed in with the powder makes the mineral content counterproductive to your health. Supermaxi sells the brand we use called ”Bios Cacao”  Ingredients: 100% Cacao. It costs $5.05 for 500 grams of cocoa powder.


  1. H Fank and Angie, congrats on the nice blog, you have lots of great info. Please come visit us in Quito some time if you head up this way, I have a chocolate business with local and international sales and blog at www.destination-ecuador.net

  2. Hey there. Thanks for the invitation.
    Congratulations on your chocolate biz. I am a cocoa aficionado. I'm looking for some raw/unprocessed cocoa powder. Do you skype?


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