Sugar and cocoa

Sweet synergy or bitter antagonisms. Formulating cocoa and chocolate products for health: A narrative review

Duane D. Mellor, Daniel Amund, Ekavi Georgousopoulou, Nenad Naumovski

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)


The potential health effects of cocoa flavanols are well described. Ranging from reducing risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease at population levels, moderating disease risk factors including endothelial function and lipid metabolism in clinical trials and mechanistic studies in laboratory studies highlighting target tissues and pathways. However, translating these benefits into public health messages is problematic, due to the high energy and sugar content of many cocoa products, including chocolate. This review considered the role of sugar in cocoa products, what are its physiological effects on bioavailability and bioactivity? Considering, then how cocoa products can be reformulated to reduce sugar intake, and the likely effects on beneficial effects of cocoa flavanols and consumer preferences. Ultimately, although interesting physiological effects are seen with cocoa flavanols, their use as a disease-modifying commodities may be limited the effect such products may have within an individual's and populations overall dietary patterns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Food Science and Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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