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Dark chocolate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa
USDA "Chocolate, dark, 70–85% cocoa mass"
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy2,500 kJ (600 kcal)
45.9 g
Sugars24 g
Dietary fiber10.9 g
42.6 g
Saturated24.5 g
Trans0.03 g
Monounsaturated12.8 g
Polyunsaturated1.26 g
7.79 g
Vitamin A equiv.
2 μg
Vitamin A39 IU
Thiamine (B1)
0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.078 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.05 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)
0.418 mg
Vitamin B6
0.038 mg
Vitamin E
0.59 mg
Vitamin K
7.3 μg
73 mg
1.77 mg
11.90 mg
228 mg
1.95 mg
308 mg
715 mg
6.8 μg
20 mg
3.31 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water1.37 g
Caffeine80 mg
Cholesterol3 mg
Theobromine802 mg

Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[1] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[2]

Dark chocolate is a form of chocolate containing only cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar. Dark chocolate without added sweetener is known as bitter chocolate[3] or unsweetened chocolate.[4] As with the other two main types of chocolate (milk and white), dark chocolate is used for chocolate bars or as a coating in confectionery.

Government and industry standards of what products may be labeled "dark chocolate" vary by country and market.


Image from a Maya ceramic depicting a container of frothed chocolate

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Chocolate has been consumed over centuries.[5] It may have been developed around 1500 BC[6] in Central and South America as a drink by the Olmecs.[7] Later, it was also made into a drink by the Mayan peoples for ceremonial purposes.[7][8] They would add honey and cane sugar to make it sweeter, and other additional flavorings as a hot beverage.[7][9]

Spanish explorers encountered chocolate in the early 1500s and introduced it to Spain.[7] In the late 1600s, milk was also added to the dark chocolate beverage by Hans Sloane, who resided in Jamaica at the time.[5] Chocolate was finally made into a solid form in the 18th century and was mass-produced in the 19th century, with several innovations, in particular by Coenraad Johannes van Houten[7][10] and Rodolphe Lindt, who invented a machine to mix and aerate chocolate, giving it a smooth texture.[11]

In the late 19th century, Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé manufactured milk chocolate which became commonly favored.[7] As a consequence, the term dark chocolate was coined to distinguish the traditional chocolate from the new form. In the late 20th century, demand for dark chocolate increased.[5][7]



Nutrients in dark chocolate include 46% carbohydrates, 43% fats, 8% protein, and 1% water (table). In a 100-gram (3+12-ounce) reference serving, dark chocolate provides 2,500 kilojoules (600 kilocalories) of food energy and is a rich source (defined as more than 20% of the Daily Value, DV) of several dietary minerals, such as iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc.

As of 2018, high-quality clinical research has not been conducted to evaluate the effects of compounds found in cocoa on physiological outcomes, such as blood pressure, for which only small (1–2 mmHg) changes resulted from short-term consumption of chocolate up to 105 grams and 670 milligrams of flavonols per day.[12] Flavanols found in dark chocolate include the monomers catechin and epicatechin, and (to a lesser extent) the polymeric procyanidins, which remain under laboratory research.[12]

Metal content


Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, may contain appreciable levels of toxic heavy metals, such as cadmium, which may be present naturally in the soil of cocoa plantations.[13] For products containing over 50% cocoa, the European Commission has set a limit for cadmium of 0.8 mg/kg, while for chocolate containing between 30%–50% cocoa, the limit is 0.3 mg/kg.[13] The state of California recommends a maximum daily intake of 4.1 micrograms of cadmium.[14]

According to a Consumer Reports study in 2022, several dark chocolate products were found to contain high levels of lead and cadmium when compared against California's maximum allowable daily dose levels.[15]

See also



  1. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". FDA. Archived from the original on 27 March 2024. Retrieved 28 March 2024.
  2. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154. Archived from the original on 9 May 2024. Retrieved 21 June 2024.
  3. ^ Mushet, C.; Sur La Table; Caruso, M. (2008). The Art and Soul of Baking. Andrews McMeel Publishing. pp. 39–40. ISBN 978-0-7407-7334-1.
  4. ^ Patrick-Goudreau, C. (2007). The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks' Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets. Fair Winds Press. p. 241. ISBN 978-1-61673-850-1.
  5. ^ a b c Tara Mchugh (16 April 2016). "How dark chocolate is processed". PhysOrg. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ Watson, Traci (22 January 2013). "Earliest Evidence of Chocolate in North America". Science. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "History of Chocolate". History.com. History (American TV network). 10 August 2022. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
  8. ^ "Chocolate: A Mesoamerican Luxury 250–900 C.E. (A.D.) – Making Chocolate". Field Museum. Retrieved 2 June 2008.
  9. ^ Notter, Ewald (18 January 2011). The Art of the Chocolatier: From Classic Confections to Sensational Showpieces. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-39884-5.
  10. ^ "History of Chocolate". Field Museum. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  11. ^ Klein, Christopher (14 February 2014). "The Sweet History of Chocolate". History (U.S. TV channel). Archived from the original on 8 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  12. ^ a b Ried, K.; Sullivan, T. R.; Fakler, P.; Frank, O. R.; Stocks, N. P. (25 April 2017). "Effect of cocoa on blood pressure". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 4 (4): CD008893. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008893.pub3. PMC 6478304. PMID 28439881.
  13. ^ a b "Cadmium in chocolate" (PDF). European Commission. 1 March 2019. Retrieved 7 March 2023.
  14. ^ "Cadmium". California Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  15. ^ Kevin Loria (15 December 2022). "Lead and cadmium could be in your dark chocolate". Consumer Reports. Retrieved 16 January 2023.