Chocolate Chemistry, Chocolate Chemical Composition - WorldOfChemicals

Chemistry behind the sweet lure of chocolate

Article On Chocolate and Its Chemical Composition

Are you chocoholic? Not yet!

Are you passionate about chocolates and to get pleasurable feelings?

Is it chocolates taste makes you feel good or is there any other factors responsible for that?


Then one must know the chemistry behind the chocolate making and why chocolate is considered as the feel-good factor, mood-alternating factor etc.

Chocolate contains more than 300 - 500 known chemicals, some of which react within the human brain to alter mood.

Out of these 300 - 500 chemicals in chocolate the following chemicals play major role in humans:

Theobromine - Natural cough medicine. In large doses it may cause nausea and anorexia and that daily intake of 50-100 g cocoa (0.8-1.5g theobromine) by humans has been associated with sweating, trembling and severe headache.

The theobromine LD50 is about 1000 mg/kg

Caffeine - chocolate contains 27 mg of caffeine.

Phenylethylamine - it gives the pleasurable feelings and it is released by the brain when people are falling in love.

One of the reasons chocolate is unique is the temperature at which it melts between 94 °F and 97 °F by the same time the human body, at 98.6 °F is just above the chocolate’s melting temperature chocolate slides across your tongue and liquefies into a perfect puddle of taste sensation.

Chocolate is a native food of South America.

Beans of the Theobroma cacao tree are dried, shelled, fermented and ground with sugar, fats and other flavorings to produce the wide variety of dark and milk chocolate.

Chocolate's varied flavors, colors, shapes, and textures result from different recipe traditions that have evolved in different parts of the world.

The essential ingredient in all chocolate is cocoa.

Types of Chemicals in Chocolate

  • Xanthines
  • Caffeine
  • Theobromine


Phenolics - acts anti-oxidant & fat reducer

Phenylethylamine - it is a ‘love drug’ and it gives pleasurable effects by releasing b-endorphin

Anandamide - produces transient feeling of well being

Serotonin - feel good factor in chocolate

Fats and Sugars - these controls blood cholesterol and produces energy. The high fat content of most chocolate - Cadbury’s Dairy Milk alone contains 30 g of fat per 100g these amounts of fat may causes obesity which intern leading to heart disease and diabetes.

Other Chemicals

Histamine - it is responsible for the craving of chocolate and change in mood.

Thyphylline - Central nervous system and cardiovascular stimulant

How will chocolate get flavor?

The following group of chemicals gives the flavor to the chocolate

No.of chemicals Chemical functional group
47 Hydrocarbons
28 Alcohols
24 Aldehydes
41 Ketones
57 Esters

Nitrogenous compounds

15 Sulfur compounds
53 Acids
7 Phenols
14 Pyrrols
9 Pyridines, chinoline

Pyrazines, chinoxalines

7 Thiazoles
11 Oxazoles
34 Furanes, pyrones, lactones

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Recent studies have shown that cocoa or dark chocolate has potent health benefits for people.

Dark chocolate is full of the flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid, which are antioxidants that help

  • Protect blood vessels
  • Cardiac health and
  • Prevent cancer

It also has been effectively demonstrated to counteract mild hypertension.



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