Dark chocolate

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Dark chocolate (also known as sour chocolate) is a form of chocolate containing cocoa solids and cocoa butter, without the milk or butter found in milk chocolate.[1] Government and industry standards of what products may be labeled "Dark chocolate" vary by country and market.[1]

Dark chocolate is considered more healthy than other types of chocolate to which milk and larger amounts of sugar may be added, such as milk chocolate,[2] but high-quality evidence for significant health benefits of chocolate, particularly the dark variety, such as on blood pressure, has not been shown.[3][4]


Chocolate is made from the tropical Theobroma cacao tree seeds. Dark chocolate has been around for over 3,000 years.[5] It was developed around 1900 B.C in Central and South America as a drink. It was the only form of chocolate that was available at the time. Later, it was also made into a drink for the Aztecs and Mayans for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Due to the bitterness of pure dark chocolate, it was modified over the years to become more than just dark chocolate. The Spanish encountered chocolate in the early 1500s and brought it back to Europe; they would add honey and cane sugar to make it sweeter and this paved the road to the creation of milk chocolate.[6] In the late 1600s, milk was added to the dark chocolate beverage by Hans Sloane, who resided in Jamaica at the time. It is argued that milk chocolate was first invented by Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle who added condensed milk to dark chocolate in 1847. Soon after, chocolate was made into a solid form and started to be mass-produced in the 20th century. Mass production of milk chocolates led to it becoming vastly more popular than dark chocolate. However, dark chocolate has regained some popularity due to its supposed health benefits.[5]


As of 2018, well-tested and generalizable clinical trials have 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.[3][4] Flavanols found in dark chocolate that are linked to blood pressure and vascular activity include the monomers catechin and epicatechin, and (to a lesser extent) the polymeric procyanidins.[3]

Nutritional content[edit]

USDA "Dark chocolate (70–85% cacao solids)"
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy2,708.42 kJ (647.33 kcal)
45.90 g
Sugars23.99 g
Dietary fiber10.9 g
42.63 g
Saturated24.489 g
Trans0.030 g
Monounsaturated12.781 g
Polyunsaturated1.257 g
7.79 g
VitaminsQuantity %DV
Vitamin A equiv.
2 μg
Vitamin A39 IU
Thiamine (B1)
0.034 mg
Riboflavin (B2)
0.078 mg
Niacin (B3)
1.076 mg
Vitamin B6
0.38 mg
Vitamin E
0.59 mg
Vitamin K
7.3 μg
MineralsQuantity %DV
73 mg
11.90 mg
228 mg
308 mg
715 mg
20 mg
3.31 mg
Other constituentsQuantity
Water12111.37 g
Caffeine80 mg
Cholesterol3 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA FoodData Central

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states the nutrients of "Dark chocolate (70–85% cacao solids)" includes 1% water, 46% carbohydrates, 43% fat, and 8% protein (table).[7] In a 100 grams (3.5 oz) reference amount, "Dark chocolate (70–85% cacao solids)" supplies several dietary minerals in significant content, such as iron at 92% of the Daily Value (DV) and vitamin B6 at 29% DV (table). Dark chocolate contains 70–100% cocoa solids (nutrition table).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "What is dark chocolate?". Baking Bites. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Heart-Health Benefits of Chocolate Unveiled". Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b c 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.
  4. ^ a b Fleming, Nic (25 March 2018). "The dark truth about chocolate". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  5. ^ a b "How dark chocolate is processed". phys.org. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "FoodData Central – Chocolate, dark, 70–85% cacao solids". fdc.nal.usda.gov. Retrieved 30 December 2019.