This cocoa powder is not Dutch processed because, in such processing, alkalinization is used to reduce the acidity and has been found to markedly reduce the antioxidant content.
In recent years, cocoa has attracted the attention of food scientists because of its extremely high antioxidant levels. Spurred by the latest studies that show the health benefits of antioxidants found in green tea and red wine, food scientists discovered similar compounds in cacao beans.
Curious about the antioxidant content of cocoa compared to wine and tea, Cornell University food scientists tested the antioxidant content of each of the following three beverages: a cup of hot water containing two tablespoons of pure cocoa powder, a cup of water containing a standard size bag of green tea, a cup of black tea, and one glass of California Merlot (red wine). On a per serving basis, the antioxidant concentration in cocoa was the highest: almost two times stronger than red wine, 2–3 times stronger than green tea, and 4–5 times stronger than that of black tea.
Cocoa contains only a very small amount of caffeine. It does however contain theobromine. Theobromine has stimulant properties, but it is much milder compared to caffeine and has a mood improving effect. The low levels in cocoa have not shown any harmful effects, but it can be toxic to dogs because they cannot break down and eliminate theobromine like humans can.
No matter what you hear in the media, eating dark chocolate with lots of added sugar and saturated fat and other candy bar chemicals can’t be good for you, no matter how many antioxidants are in the chocolate.
While unprocessed, unsweetened cocoa powder should not be considered a food that should be consumed in large amounts because of the theobromine, using reasonable quantities to flavor desserts, smoothies and in your gourmet healthy cooking, can actually add beneficial nutrients as well as make your family more likely to eat healthfully, adding to the nutritional quality of their diet.