New method to find flavanol antioxidant content in cocoa, chocolate

February 15th, 2011 - 5:33 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 15 (ANI): Scientists at The Hershey Company and other scientific laboratories have found improved methods for determining the amounts of flavanol antioxidants in cocoa and chocolate.

The Hershey scientists and collaborating scientists at the Pennsylvania State University-M.S. Hershey Medical Center (Hershey, PA) teamed up to determine the purity of these flavanols by HPLC and by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectroscopy.

“We believe this represents the first large scale purification of standards for flavanol antioxidant determination” said Dr. Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition.

“With a full series of standards, our flavanol determinations are not only more accurate, but the values are much higher, between 40% to 100% higher, than previously published methods using proprietary standards.”

“The specific reaction of DMAC with the flavanols has been known since the 1950s. This method is a simple and quick way to measure total procyanidins in cocoa and chocolate,” said Dr. Mark Payne of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition.

“We want to make these methods generally available to the chocolate industry initially, with the intent of having uniformly agreed upon methods of determining the level of these important molecules,” said Dr. David Stuart, of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition.

“These new methods can be used in research and other applications involving dietary intake of cocoa and chocolate, clinical interventions and food standardization”.

The study is published in the Journal Association of Official Analytical Chemists. (ANI)

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