No more chocolates? Save the cacao trees!

By Staff Reporter | Sep 29, 2017 07:33 AM EDT
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Chocolate is the most favorite confectionery in the whole world and there's no denying it. Although it comes in many colors and shapes, chocolate is still the best treat for both young and adults.

Studies suggest that dark chocolate has more health benefits which include the lowering of the bad LDL cholesterol and raising the good HDL according to the University of California researcher, Mary Engler. At the same, she gave emphasis that although dark chocolate is healthier, eating in moderation should be observed. Too much consumption of the sweet stuff can increase calories and promote weight gain.

On September 27, many people celebrated the National Chocolate Milk Day. Chocolate milk is best recommended for athletes to soothe their tired and sore muscles. The healthy beverage contains carbohydrates, proteins, and water that hinder dehydration due to perspiration from strenuous activities. The milk that was added to the chocolate has calcium for strong bones while little sodium and sugar help in retaining water and getting back the lost energy.

But, what if chocolates will no longer be available? Will everything be the same? There will be no Belgian chocolate-flavored ice cream, no chocolate cake, and no chocolate milk drink and so on and so forth.

At the moment, chocolate is on the verge of becoming unavailable because of the problems its origin is facing, the cacao tree. Cacao trees contain the seeds yielded by its pods to produce oil that is later turned into chocolates. However, some varieties of the tree are susceptible to diseases and are threatened by environmental activities.

The International Cacao Collection grows an array of cacao tree varieties including those that bear fruits of different colors, shapes, sizes, and textured skin. The group could only cultivate few selections that could withstand diseases and those with comparable genetic traits and deformity.

The head of Cacao Genetic Improvement Program at C.A.T.I.E (an acronym in Spanish for the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), Wilbert Phillips-Mora, stated that most of the varieties that are grown across the globe correspond to a confined set of clones chosen in the forties. It pertains to generally grown selections that are vulnerable to the identical disease that could permit the immediate spread of blight. Phillips-Mora also manages a collection of 1,235 varieties of cacao trees, according to The New York Times.

Manufacturers of chocolates began roasting and packaging the varieties of Dr. Phillips-Mora. Lately, a San Francisco-based chocolate producer, Dandelion Chocolate, launched a bar concocted from blended six hybrids of C.A.T. I.E. The sourcing head of the chocolate factory, Greg D'Alesandre, is hopeful that it will become one of their best-sellers because of the good and equal balance of notes between chocolate and caramel.

No matter what fungal mutation may bring or whatever region the drought may devastate, there will be cacao varieties with genetic factors that will produce new hybrids that could counter and endure any future desolation could harbor.

© 2017 Mstars News, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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