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The 'Chocolate Pope's' Love Affair... With Cacao

This beliefnet.com interview with David Wolfe is very educational and way too funny. Not only does David outline the beneficial properties of raw chocolate, but he also throws in some interesting tid-bits on how he became the Chocolate Pope.

Wolfe says his love of cacao led him to create a chocolate religion. "I nominated myself the Chocolate Pope," he says. "The only two requirements for joining the chocolate religion are you have to love cacao and you have to help us get a "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" book into every hotel room in the world, because that is the chocolate Bible."

Here are some of the nutritional properties Wolfe attributes to cacao.

  • Cacao is a chemically complex food and has many nutritional benefits. Wolfe believes that cacao is the principal natural source of magnesium on Earth, containing 18 times more magnesium than blood. Yet, magnesium deficiency is the principal major mineral deficiency in the Western world and can cause heart attacks, he says.
  • Cacao is higher in vitamin C than any other nut or seed, but 100 percent of cacao's vitamin C is destroyed in the processing of chocolate.
  • Although chocolate is looked upon as a guilty pleasure, Wolfe says the scientific truth of cacao is quite the opposite. "Cacao is the number-one weight-loss food in the world," he says. "When Atkins comes out with a new bar that says 'new chocolate flavor,' they would make a chocolate flavor even if you hated it because it's an appetite suppressant." 

Check out the full article here.


Zach Adelman

Hello Raw Cacao Lovers!

Here is the real truth about vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content in Raw Cacao:

Despite the trafficked reports circulating the internet, the honest truth remains: even when processed at low temperatures (i.e. "raw"), there is no vitamin C (ascorbic acid) present in cacao.

Recently, highly trafficked websites such as TodayShow.com and MSNBC.com have highlighted the misinformation of cacao’s supposed vitamin C content. Included in these reports are claims that raw cacao is “extraordinarily high in vitamin C.”

Back in 2004, our Navitas Naturals lab tests directly looked for vitamin C content in raw cacao, but came up negative. Despite these results, the current media blitz brought us back again for another round of lab testing of our best-selling raw cacao products (beans, nibs and powder) for vitamin C. This time, we used two different laboratories instead of one, and utilized three different analytical methods: High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Capilary Electrophoresis (CE) with UV detection, and Titration.

Though all three methods have their place in the scientific community, Titration is the most commonly used method in the food industry when determining vitamin C (ascorbic acid) content. However, there is a critical detail within the Titration method many companies miss when testing raw cacao. The method of Titration is unable to differentiate the vitamin C (ascorbic acid) from the vitamin’s analogs. The result is what is known as a "false positive."

This is why, at Navitas Naturals, we use HPLC when testing raw cacao’s vitamin C content. The HPLC method looks directly for vitamin C (ascorbic acid), and not just the analogs. Additionally, after sending samples of our products to another lab to test using the CE method, the reports returned consistent the HPLC results.

We have now also tested one of the largest raw cacao brands in the United States using the Titration and HPLC methods. And yet again the results confirm our previous conclusion that raw cacao has no vitamin C (ascorbic acid) present.

Cacao is a tremendously beneficial superfood, containing a wide spectrum of minerals and phytonutrients. It is important to be clear however, Vitamin C is not amongst these nutrients.


Zach Adelman, President
Navitas Naturals

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