Chocolate or cocoa? X-ray diffraction: General comparisons

What do you think about when you hear the word chocolate? Yummy! Dark or milk? If you look at the back of your unsweetened/baking cocoa or chocolate you may expect to see cocoa or chocolate. Yes, but what else do you see? You may see "contains X% protein" or "Y% fat and fiber", perhaps more. Dietitians beware; this can significantly alter your caloric intake. Many people use the terms chocolate and cocoa interchangeably. Depending on whom you ask there may not be a difference, unless you've ever tried to substitute one for the other incorrectly while attempting to make your favorite chocolate cake. Other people will tell you that cocoa is made primarily from cocoa powder and chocolate contains more of the cocoa butter. People in the food and dietary industry know the difference and the importance of the distinction to maintain a quality product. X-ray diffraction (XRD) using the MiniFlex will easily illustrate the difference. Shown in the X-ray diffraction pattern overlay below, two distinct diffractograms are observed using the Jade software package. One is of baking cocoa and the other of baking chocolate from the same company at your local grocery store. Can you tell which one is chocolate and which one is cocoa?


Answer: Green: Chocolate; Black: Cocoa

The fifth generation MiniFlex is a general purpose X-ray diffractometer that can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of polycrystalline materials. The MiniFlex is available in two variations. Operating at 600 watts (X-ray tube), the MiniFlex 600 is twice as powerful as other benchtop models, enabling faster analysis and improved overall throughput. Running at 300 watts (X-ray tube), the new MiniFlex 300 does not require an external heat exchanger. Each model is engineered to maximize flexibility in a benchtop package. Read more...

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