Predictive relationship between polyphenol and nonfat cocoa solids content of chocolate

Karen A. Cooper, Esther Campos-Giménez, Diego Jiménez Alvarez, Andreas Rytz, Kornél Nagy, Gary Williamson

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Chocolate is often labeled with percent cocoa solids content. It is assumed that higher cocoa solids contents are indicative of higher polyphenol concentrations, which have potential health benefits. However, cocoa solids include polyphenol-free cocoa butter and polyphenol-rich nonfat cocoa solids (NFCS). In this study the strength of the relationship between NFCS content (estimated by theobromine as a proxy) and polyphenol content was tested in chocolate samples with labeled cocoa solids contents in the range of 20-100%, grouped as dark (n = 46), milk (n = 8), and those chocolates containing inclusions such as wafers or nuts (n = 15). The relationship was calculated with regard to both total polyphenol content and individual polyphenols. In dark chocolates, NFCS is linearly related to total polyphenols (r2 = 0.73). Total polyphenol content appears to be systematically slightly higher for milk chocolates than estimated by the dark chocolate model, whereas for chocolates containing other ingredients, the estimates fall close to or slightly below the model results. This shows that extra components such as milk, wafers, or nuts might influence the measurements of both theobromine and polyphenol contents. For each of the six main polyphenols (as well as their sum), the relationship with the estimated NFCS was much lower than for total polyphenols (r2 < 0.40), but these relationships were independent of the nature of the chocolate type, indicating that they might still have some predictive capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidant
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Epicatechin
  • Polyphenols
  • Procyanidins
  • Theobromine

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