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Embassy of Guyana brings you on a journey from cacao to cocoa and chocolate

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨CCTV.com

02-02-2018 14:23 BJT

By Li Shouen, CCTV.com reporter

On such a chilly winter’s day in Beijing, you might be filled with contentment after drinking a cup of hot chocolate milk. But have you ever given a thought to where chocolate comes from? And what is chocolate made from?

The Embassy of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana in Beijing answered those questions on Wednesday (Jan. 31) at the event called, “Cocoa Revolution -- Promoting Healthier Lifestyles, Empowering Families and Communities.”

Ambassador Mr. Bayney Karran opened up the festivities and greeted all guests with a keynote address. He has encouraged deeper cooperation between China and his nation.

Counsellor Ms. Neishanta Benn spoke about the unique plant of cacao and its seeds cocoa, from which chocolate is made of. Cacao beans are the fermented seeds of the cacao tree, whose Latin name is Theobroma cacao (“Food of the Gods”). It is native to the Amazon region and historically considered an important crop in Central and South America. The beans were once so prized that native tribes had used them as a form of currency.

By Li Shouen, CCTV.com reporter

(Cacao Tree and its seeds cocoa  Photo provided by the Embassy of Guyana)

While cocoa refers to the low-fat constituent of the finely-ground cacao beans. The ground beans, known as cocoa liquor or cocoa mass, also contain cocoa butter - a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat. And cocoa takes on a well-established role in the manufacturing of chocolate, which is so delicious and popular across the globe. 

Naturopathic doctor Melissa Rodriguez was also in attendance and shared her insights into health and wellness, as well as how to make full use of the benefits of cocoa to enjoy a healthier life. Cocoa is rich in minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, copper and manganese, along with a great source of selenium, potassium, and zinc to provide the body with much needed protein and dietary fibers.

With all its nutritional value, cocoa offers anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant qualities and has demonstrated positive effects by imparting numerous health benefits, such as lowering high blood pressure, improving brain health, balancing cholesterol levels, etc.

Does this mean that we should eat more chocolate to keep us healthier?

Connie Hong, founder of PlanetChoco and a “veteran of dark chocolate,” suggested this might not be the case. She recommends dark chocolate instead of the milk ones, especially those containing at least 70% cocoa, although they taste bitter, yet better for your health.

But, as an old Chinese saying goes, “Going beyond the limit is as bad as falling short.” Cocoa is a source of caffeine, and excess caffeine can lead to various side effects. And certain people might be allergic to cocoa products. So, if chocolate suits you then go for it and eat more chocolate for added health benefits.

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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