I have recently learned that chocolate is extremely high in phytic acid - one of the highest of all foods. Phytic acid is considered an anti-nutrient which can result in mineral deficiencies. To give you some background, phytic acid content is generally high in grains, nuts and seeds (and, of course, cacao is a seed) and is greatly reduced, when the grains, nuts and seeds are soaked and the sprouting process has began or when they are fermented. What perplexes me is that I keep reading that finished chocolate is extremely high in phytic acid. I just don't get it!
I have done some digging and have come up with very little. I would like to know what affects the phytic acid content in terms of fermentation, roasting etc.
'Chocolate in Health and Nutrition', charts various organic acids in beans from different geographic regions. The reference to phytic acid states that "the amount of phytic acid is reduced during the processing of cocoa, and it's concentration depends on the type of cocoa and the strength of the roasting step."
Unfortunately, it doesn't make reference to how the roasting affects phytic acid content and the chart doesn't make reference to phytic acid content. Too bad...
The next 2 studies are directly related to roasting and phytic acid content. Unfortunately, each one has concluded an opposite result!
To add to the confusion, the following 2 products both mention the phytic acid of their product - the Mum's Cacao Powder stating:
"Our cacao pods are hand selected then carefully fermented in the sun for almost 2 weeks to alleviate the natural bitterness and to remove the naturally occurring phytic acid (which if not properly fermented will prevent the absorption of its minerals)."
I wrote to them for scientific proof but didn't get a response - hmmph!
And this one states that it is "Phytic Acid free":
This search began as my own look into the phytic acid content of foods but now I’m a little obsessed about what affects the phytic acid content in chocolate. An obscure topic – I know…
If anyone has an information on this topic, I’d love to hear about it!