by Marion Nestle
Oct 30 2007

Chocolate is a health food! (well, maybe)

I am so happy to hear that the French chocolate company, Barry Callebaut, is marketing a probiotic chocolate–one packed with friendly bacteria like the kind in yogurt. Only the company claims that chocolate is a better source of probiotic bacteria than yogurt. And you only need to eat half an ounce a day! Chocoholics rejoice! Skeptics roll your eyes! Personally, I like my chocolate unfunctional. File this one under Techno-Foods.

  • Funny you should mention this. I’m reading up on probiotics this week, as it happens. I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of these high-priced techno-foods (as you call them) in the near future, because the science of probiotics is proving rather exciting and the marketers have a good nose for concocting “healthy snacks” (eyes roll).

    But like you, Marion, I think I’ll keep my dark 85+% chocolate from traditionally fermented cocoa nibs (see, chocolate is already probiotic in its own right) separate from the traditional probiotic foods that occur naturally (though under controlled circumstances) in plain whole fat yogurt, creme fraiche, & cheese; kefir; homemade sauerkraut; raw milk; and perhaps kombucha. Cheap, simple to make in “my kitchen laboratory” and fun to teach my kid. No sugar added, either.

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  • For those that choose to refrain from dairy and just are not sure about those effects of soy protein, there is a limited supply of probiotics available.

    is one. I think the probiotic chocolate is a good plan. Since the ‘biotic part is usually in a moist environment, will it really work? Will it just activate upon consumption?

  • Probiotics that are not dairy-based:

    Traditionally fermented sauerkraut
    Traditionally fermented pickles
    Other traditionally fermented vegetables
    Sausages made with lactic acid starter culture
    Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce

    It is true that miso is a soy product, but fermented soy is way better than fresh soy.

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  • Hello Marion,

    Xocai Healthy Chocolate actually has a probiotic chocolate coming out at the begining of the year!! I have been using healthy chocolate for the past year and it has improved my eye sight from a -4.0 to a -3.5 and had banished my hypoglycemia!! My eye doctor couldn’t believe it becasue I’ve been a -4.0 for years. Once regulating my blood sugar all of my other organs have less strain 🙂

    Healthy Chocolate is the only cold-pressed / acai chocolate w/ a 20 year patent and no refined sugar or waxes and fillers !! It chnaged my daily lifestyle you should check it out at like I did 🙂

    Can’t wait to try the probiotic becasue I have been taking a yogurt one called K-Pac from Whole foods which works great!! But I’ve been reading that chocolate can actually carry the probiotic to our lower intestines better and then we aren’t dealing with lactose. Love your site xoxo- Christy

  • Maggie

    Dear Sir or Madam ,

    We are the cocoa food processor from China. Our company is WUXI HUADONG FOOD CO.,LTD.I get the information that you are the chocolate manufature from the Internet and I think that you may need purchase the cocoa butter and the cocoa powder,and we are the producer of the cocoa butter and the cocoa powder,we have the high quality of the cocoa butter with the reasonable price, and we also produce the cocoa powder , the alkalized cocoa powder and the natural cocoa powder ,our product always been exported to US,UK and many other foreign countries. I think we can supply you all kinds you wanted to import,so if you have any interested in our product,pls contact me feel free. And if you don’t mind ,pls tell me your mail address that I can contact you directly and don’t hesitate if you have any questions want to ask me, thank you.I sincerely hope I can hear from you ASAP.

    Best regards