We all love chocolates, in all kinds and flavours. They’re there to comfort you when you’re sad, to satisfy your sweet tooth, to show the one you love how much you miss them and to give you a pat on the back when you truly deserve it. No matter how much we love chocolate, we still take it for granted, MSN News reports. We uncover it and start eating it so fast that we don’t sit and indulge the magical taste.
1. White chocolate isn’t really chocolate. Being made of butter and milk, it does not contain any chocolate liquor and so Under Federal Standards of Identity, “white chocolate” is just a misnomer.
2. The reason why chocolate literally melts in your mouth, is because the melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature.
3. Hawaii is the only US state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate. Whereas American chocolate manufacturers use on average 1.5 billion pounds of milk, which is only exceeded by cheese and icecream.
4. Chocolate scientifically makes you happy. It contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural substance that is known to stimulate serotonin release (the happy hormone) acting as a natural anti-depressant.
5. Chocolate contains Theobromine, which suppresses coughing activity.
6. On average, a chocolate bar in the US contains eight insect pieces. “The Food Defect Action Levels”, a book published by the US Department of Health, lists unavoidable food defects allowed by FDA – like bug parts. That means that your chocolate may contain traces of nuts, and bugs. Continue reading
Cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) is native to Central and South America and has been cultivated since prehistoric times in Mexico. For cacao production to be profitable in Hawaii, high tonnage and superior quality are required. However, Hawaiian cacao plantings are variable in both quality and yield, and are not necessarily adapted to Hawaii’s growing conditions. The genotypes of these trees are unknown, and growers are not able to identify the types of cacao trees on their farms. Through the use of DNA marker techniques, we are now able to Error! Hyperlink reference not valid. of superior cultivars based on their parentages/pedigrees. By the use of simple sequence repeat DNA markers, many individual trees have been fingerprinted. The survey group was found to include Criollo, Trinitario, Forastero and their hybrid types, plus genetically unique trees. The large genetic variation among Hawaii’s cacao trees currently grown here suggests it may not be necessary to import additional cacao genotypes to supplement locally available germplasm. The existing variation allows us to select and produce superior genotypes specifically suited for a grower’s production environment.
Hi! I am Madel, a Fulbright Scholar currently working with Dr. Skip Bittenbender on a research on cacao at the UH . Right now we’re listing the cacao growers, propagators, Chocolatiers/artisan with a hope that we can meet sometime to discuss on the cacao industry in Hawaii and aim to have a wonderful Hawaii Cacao industry in the future.
Will you care to email me your name, Farm/bussiness location, home address, email address. Please state the no. of cacao trees you have; the products you sell or produce.
Hope to hear from you ASAP. Mahalo and God bless you all!
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TWENTY-SIXTH LEGISLATURE, 2011
H .C.R. NO. 300
STATE OF HAWAII
WHEREAS, cacao, derived from the theobroma cacao tree, is the dried and fermented seed from which chocolate is obtained, native to the central and western Amazon region and is widely distributed throughout the humid tropical regions with commercial production concentrated in Brazil, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia and Nigeria; and
WHEREAS, cacao was first introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1850; and
WHEREAS, Hawafi’s environment and climate position it as the only state in the United States that can commercially grow cacao and as the state which is in the closest proximity to both Asia and the continental United States and is ideally located to capture and prosper from the opportunities of a growing cacao market which currently generates $75 billion worldwide annually; and
Bob and Pam Cooper acquired more than 1,800 cacao trees in Holualoa over a decade ago and established the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory. They’ve been processing 100 percent Hawaii-grown cacao into chocolate products ever since. Bob also grows and sells cacao trees, encouraging others to grow this valuable crop. West Hawaii now has many cacao growers and several budding artisanal chocolate makers.
Cacao originated in the Amazon and Orinoco River basins of Ecuador and Brazil, and has been cultivated in Central and South America for thousands of years. Theobroma, the genus of the cacao tree, translates to “food of the gods” and the resulting chocolate was once reserved solely for the pleasure of Aztec kings.
Today, cacao growing and chocolate making is a global industry, but with more local growers and those making chocolate with locally grown ingredients, localvores can satisfy their chocolate urge with a reduced carbon footprint.
Cacao is a tropical rain forest tree and thrives in areas with temperatures above 50 degrees and about 60 inches of annual rainfall or good irrigation. It is especially well-suited to areas in Kona that get a cool afternoon cloud cover. You might consider adding a few cacao trees, if your growing conditions are suitable. Continue reading
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their partners have announced the preliminary release of the sequenced genome of the cacao tree, an achievement that will help sustain the supply of high-quality cocoa to the $17 billion U.S. chocolate industry and protect the livelihoods of small farmers around the world by speeding up development, through traditional breeding techniques, of trees better equipped to resist the droughts, diseases and pests that threaten this vital agricultural crop.
The effort is the result of a partnership between USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS); Mars, Inc., of McLean, Va., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chocolate-related products; scientists at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown , N.Y.; and researchers from the Clemson University Genomics Institute, the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Washington State University, Indiana University, the National Center for Genome Resources, and PIPRA (Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture) at the University of California-Davis.
Team leaders from USDA included molecular biologist David Kuhn and geneticist Raymond Schnell, both at the ARS Subtropical Horticulture Research Station in Miami, Fla., and ARS computational biologist Brian Scheffler at the Jamie Whitten Delta States Research Center in Stoneville, Miss. ARS is the principal intramural scientific research agency of USDA. This research supports the USDA priority of promoting international food security, and USDA’s commitment to agricultural sustainability. Continue reading