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Working and selling our confections in the Bay Area I get a lot of people coming up to me and asking if my chocolate is raw. Mostly these types are more interested in the health benefits of chocolate- taste is secondary. When I tell them, no it is roasted, they would seem to assume that it is less heathy.

Generally I would, feeling a little slighted, compare chocolate to coffee - you really wouldn't want to drink a cup of coffee made from unroasted beans, I say. But I believe, and I am in the process of comparing controlled batches of similar beans roasted and unroasted, that there might not be such a difference in flavor between 'raw' and roasted cacao beans as there is in coffee.

Recently, at a San Francisco chocolate event, I overheard the people at the Xocai booth telling the public that the heathful anti-oxidants in chocolate are destroyed by roasting, which is clearly not the case when you look at ORAC ratings. However I would be very interested to hear any thoughts on actually how much of a change roasting makes, and any references to studies on this. Raw chocolate has not been cooked past 114 degreesF I believe, does it taste as good?......

Tags: ORAC, antioxidant, raw, roasting

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With respect to the sweetener not being raw, then we can say that your chocolate hearts consist of a mix of raw and non-raw ingredients. Correct?

Why is this important? Because at some point the product might end up containing a high proportion of non-raw ingredients. So - instead of being "Raw Chocolate" it might more accurately be described as "'Chocolate made with X% Raw Cacao' and processed at low temperature with Y% non-raw ingredients added." This would be consistent with organic labeling and the labeling requirements for other forms of certifications (e.g., fair trade). It makes sense to follow those guidelines, no?

With respect to my referring to your being an engineer, it is manipulative in the sense that I want to remind you that one tenet of being an engineer is that it is important to document your work and follow through. I am sure that the engineering leads at NASA needed lots of documentation to support bills of materials to build things (and probably demanded detailed assays of new batches of the same materials); they didn't accept "trust me, I read some books by this dude who's really well respected," or, "this batch should have all the same physical charactersits as the last one because we made it the same way - there's no need to test it."

I ask that you please consider the following:

If you were to spend just a few more moments providing us with documentation (or at least some references more specific than "go look it up for yourself on Google" for your statements before you posted them, you might find that you'd spend far less time in rebuttal defending yourself. For example, if you'd looked for the Matt Monarch videos with Dr Cousens you might have noticed that they were no longer available and not cited them because their content could not be verified. This is a standard I hold myself to - I don't cite a reference that can't be found when I cite it. Because you are making the claims it is incumbent upon you to back them up. Or just don't make the claims in the first place. Otherwise people are going to call you on them.

Finally, I can acknowledge that you have contributed more than any other raw chocolate maker to these discussions.

At the same time, through my work with another raw chocolate company (Gnosis), I am very aware of the issues involved not only with raw chocolate specifically but with raw foodism in general (I had my first contact with raw foodists and juice-ists in Portland, OR in 1977-8 or thereabouts).

The upshot is that I believe the entire raw foods industry needs an independent raw certification program that uses a part of the money that it collects to perform some of the basic scientific research needed to support some of its claims. This certifier cannot be run by David Wolfe, Shazzie, Matt Monarch, Dr Cousens, you, or anyone else in the raw foods world and it needs to work with an outside lab (e.g., Brunswick) to do the testing.
Hi Clay,

In general as a career, I am no longer in engineering mode. And, I am definitely not in engineering mode for this forum. I am only in engineering mode on occassion in regards to our own proprietary processes.

I claim that we don't cook or roast our cacao. Because of our process, we realize a much higher antioxidant rating than normal, per our independent lab analysis. Many other ingredients we use are in the raw state. Some ingredients we use are not. Similarly to coffee, it is impossible to get a vanilla flavor from a bean that has been cured at what is considered below raw temperatures. I can't disclose much beyond what I already do, since I would be disclosing our exact recipes. Our recipes are proprietary. Our process is propriety. In the spirit of educating, I have disclosed as much as I can.


I am not interested in creating a perfect research paper with full bibliography worthy of an A+ for this forum. I will leave that to the other academics on this forum. As the forum owner, your motivation is just that for many reasons, which I understand, and which I don't feel is necessary to go into ;-)

I support everybody doing as much of their own independent research as they want.

Sacred Steve

I am not asking you to do an A+ research paper for the members of this forum or to disclose any proprietary processes. I am asking you to do it for everyone who is interested in raw chocolate everywhere. If you can convince us, well, we're a tough bunch so it might mean something.

What you may wish to consider, though, is the creation of an A+ research paper that helps everyone in the raw food and raw chocolate worlds truly understand the challenges of producing a raw chocolate - and the benefits.

To create such a report, however, it will be necessary to cite sources outside the raw world. Just pointing to Howell, Cousens, Wolfe, et al, presents only one side of the argument. Though Sam has pointed out flaws in the Wikipedia article on raw foodism (I would like to know your thoughts on it) it's well cited on both sides of the question.

With respect to your ORAC analysis. It was run on beans harvested what, 3 years ago? 5? Are you claiming that the ORAC analysis is still valid? How can it be - the chemical composition of harvested beans changes from month to month? You are using exactly the same beans processed (or not processed) exactly the same way with no changes to the equipment or process since the last ORAC analysis?

If anything has changed the ORAC analysis may no longer be valid. I am not saying that a new ORAC test won't reveal that your ORAC scores are higher than chocolate processed using "regular" techniques - just that you may be over-reporting (or even under-reporting, you never know) your scores.

When was this article ORIGINALLY published? I can't find any reference to this article in any search.

On the subject of energy/food/nutrition, Cousens also supports Tachyon Holistic Healing - kinda fringe "science" there, IMO.

"This Tachyon breakthrough is tremendously exciting because it not only supports the energetic model of nutrition, but is a powerful self-healing and youthing tool," world renowned author of Spiritual Nutrition, Sevenfold Peace and Conscious Eating, Gabriel Cousens, M.D. wrote ...

No date on this article but nothing more recent than 1991 is cited.

:: Clay
He just published it in one of his newsletters.

He supported Tahyon Sciences for many years. I am not sure if he still does, but I did go to a seminar of his about 10 years ago, where he showed evidence with his own experiments on Plant Growth proving the validity of Tachyon Science. It was quite impressive. This guy is quite a scientist and clinician. I know him personally. He is very hesitant to make claims he can't substantiate. He is also considered to be at the leading edge of his field, so I am sure he will be professing things that skeptics will have fun with at times.

You're an engineer by training, by your own admission. Rather than cite references that point to research that in turn does not cite its references - how about doing some homework and getting us the references, from peer-reviewed mainstream scientific journals?

Specifically, "Professor Hans Eppinger, who was the chief medical director of the first medical clinic at the University of Vienna, found that a live-food diet specifically raised the microelectrical potential throughout the body. He discovered that a live-food diet increases selective capacity of the cells by increasing their electrical potential between the tissue cells and the capillary cells. He saw that live-food significantly improves the intra and extracellular excretion of toxins, as well as absorption of nutrients." Was this research ever published and/or peer reviewed? If not, it's of dubious value. Like cold fusion experiments that aren't repeatable.

I am going to suggest that we adopt the following - external - definition of raw foodism and try very hard to distinguish between hard science and mysticism. Although there are flaws in the Wikipedia article (as the article itself points out), after considerable research on the subject it's the most balanced article on the topic I have found. If anyone knows of another, please refer to it here so I can review.

:: Clay

:: Clay
Unfortunately, I don't have the time to spend doing the immense amount of research and backing to support this forum's needs. I am here to contribute what I can. I leave it to others to do more digging if and when they need to. I do the best I can, with what very limited time I have. If you REALLY want to see IMMENSE amounts of scientific published data, just pick up a recent book of Dr. Cousen's and look at the bibliography. Or, do the same thing with a recent book of David Wolfe's. The research IS impressive. I can't afford to do everybody's homework in this regard. I am here to lead people to water. People then have to do a little work for themselves and "drink". That is one of my personal roles in this lifetime.

I said the Wikipedia article was imperfect but it's a start. It's also something that could be used to form the basis of a definition of raw chocolate. My supposition is that anything that's not based on some accepted external definition will be ignored by the more hard-core members of the raw foods community because it does not serve their needs.

:: Clay
Hi Samantha,
Like I said before and posted before I have scientific proof that I posted on this forum that raw chocolate is higher in antioxidants than cooked or roasted chocolate. Perhaps you didn't see the labe report from Brunswick Labs on our Ginger chocolate?? I have scientifically proven it. You have yet to scientifically refute the fact. BTW, aren't you in the business of selling cooked chocolate? Are you going to use this platform to promote your idea that cooked chocolate is as healthy as raw chocolate since you are in the cooked chocolate business? As Jesus said, when you point the finger, there are always a few pointing back at you.
My claim is substantiated by scientific data provided by a reputable independent lab the results of which I have posted in this forum. Sorry to hear that you think my response is "asinine".

I rest my case. :-)

Sacred Steve
Oops...forgot to repost this, since obviously, Samantha, you did not see it...

Here is our ORAC lab report on our Ginger Recipe. This recipe is only 57% cacao content and the ORAC score is reported on a per gram basis. Please provide a similar report on some cooked or roasted chocolate so we can compare. Please provide the roasting temperature and time, so that can be factored in.

Sorry, but you do not have scientific proof that all raw chocolates are higher in antioxidants than all roasted/cooked chocolates.

What you have is a lab test that says that one specific sample of your chocolate has a specific ORAC level that appears to be higher than the reference standard for chocolate posted by the USDA as shown in this online database for ORAC scores.

Please help me understand the Brunswick Lab report, which reports a combined water/fat ORAC count at 343 micromole Trolox Equivalents per gram. If I multiply by 100 (which is to put it in the same scale as all the rest of foods listed), I get 34,300 micromole Trolox Equivalents per 100 grams. This puts your ginger chocolate below the value for unsweetened baking chocolate and dutched cocoa powder on the list. Am I missing something or misinterpreting something in the report?


"The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) unit, ORAC value, or "ORAC score" is a method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. It was developed by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. While the exact relationship between the ORAC value of a food and its health benefit has not been established, it is believed that foods higher on the ORAC scale will more effectively neutralize free radicals. According to the free-radical theory of aging, this will slow the oxidative processes and free radical damage that can contribute to age-related degeneration and disease." (Emphasis added by me.)


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