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The Cocoa Tree: 

The Cocoa Tree By: Linda Huynh

Cocoa Tree Names: 

Cocoa Tree Names Common Name(s)- Cocoa Tree Cacao Chocolate Scientific Name- Theobroma Cacao Greek Name- Food of the Gods


Classification Kingdom- Plants Division- Magnoliophyta Class- Magnoliopsida Order- Malvales Family- Sterculiaceae Geographically- Central American cocoa South American cocoa West Indian Cocoa West African cocoa East African cocoa Asian cocoa Australia Stage- Raw, dried or roasted Dried, roasted and clean Broken Cocoa mass Chem. treated and processed cocoa mass Broken bean contain up to 10% extraneous materials Bean particles obtained during processing Cocoa shells


Characteristics Small tree- 4 to 8 meters If shaded by tall forests trees- up to 10 meters Stem is straight- wood is light and white Bark is thin- smoothish brownish Fruitpod- up to 15-25 cm length Each pod- 30 to 40 seeds- after drying and fermentation they are called cocoa beans Seeds are reddish-brownish externally, covered by white sweet pulps

Habitat or Region Found: 

Habitat or Region Found Need rainfall between 1150-2500 mm per year Temperature between 21 degrees Celsius Originally from the Amazon basin, spreading to Central America, particularly Mexico Varieties of Cocoa Trees Forastero- found widely in West Africa and Brazil Criollo- mostly grown in parts of the Caribbean, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea the West Indies, Sri Lanka, East Timor and Java Trinitario- cross from Criollo and Forastero

Uses to Humans or Other Organisms: 

Uses to Humans or Other Organisms Medicine- anxiety, fever, fatigue, and coughs Treats- anaemia, emaciation, kidney stones, cuts, and burns Beneficially healthy and well being Chocolate is a treat to eat Chocolate is rich in polyphemois- same antioxidants found in red wine- helps protects against heart disease/cancer and improve immune system Cocoa beans- saturated fat- can help lower cholesterol

Interesting Facts and Figures: 

Interesting Facts and Figures There are three varieties of cocoa trees. 1st- Forastero (most common 90%) 2nd- Criollo (second common) 3rd- Trinitario (last place) It was used by natives in Mexico like the Olmecs and the Mayas. The Aztecs used it as a bitter chocolate drink. Christopher Columbus found cocoa beans in America. (not popular in Europe at the time) Hernando Cortes found drinks from the Aztecs and sent the beans and recipe to King Charles V. Cocoa trees produce a over 150 different chemical in leaves. Four intermediate ingredient produces- cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake, and cocoa powder

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