The cacao bean is the seed of a the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), a small tropical evergreen and a member of the Sterculiaceae family. The cacao tree is native to the Americas, having probably originated in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America. It has yellowish flowers and reddish-brown seed pods. Its botanical name Theobroma means "food of the gods" and the highly appreciated cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the times of the Spanish conquest. The people used its bean for its natural health, nutritional and energizing properties and to make chocolate or "bitter water" beverages.
The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs.
Nutritional properties and health benefits
Indigenous communites treasured the cacao bean for its nutritional and natural health properties. It is filled with dietary fiber and is very high in antioxidant flavanoids which absorb and neutralize free radicals in the body. Raw cacao is also a good source of minerals and trace elements such as iron, calcium, zinc, potassium, magnesium and sulphur.
The theobromine naturally found in raw cacao is a mild, non-addictive stimulant that is believed to help depression. It may cause the brain to produce more of a neurotransmitter called anandamide which in turn causes an euphoric sensation, increases concentration and helps to alleviate stress.
The essential fatty acids found in raw cacao may help the body to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol levels. It is believed to lower blood pressure and generally improve heart function.
Our production process
Much of the production process is manual and takes place on the small farms where the cacao is grown. Our cacao is selectively harvested by hand since not all the fruit ripen in the same time. Mature fruit pods are split open, the cacao beans removed and the outer shell discarded. Once scooped from the pods the cacao beans are fermented and sun dried to lower the humidity.
On arrival at our processing plant the cacao grains are washed and disinfected by use of ozone to lower microbiological contamination. We then soften the skin of the cacao by means of a low heat treatment. Finally the grain is subjected to a dual processing whereby it is simultaneously milled and de-husked, and the raw cacao nibs are obtained.
Advantages of our Organic Raw Peruvian Cacao Nibs
• Temperature is the most important advantage of all our cacao products: all the processing is done below 45º Celcius (approximately 110º Fahrenheit), which allows us to maintain the natural flavor and -even more important- the nutritional properties of the fresh cacao grains.
• Our cacao nibs are 100% natural and certified organic. We are able to guarantee that no chemical fertilizers, pesticides, preservatives or artificial additives of any kind have been employed in the cultivation or processing of the bean.
• The only ingredient present in our Cacao products is in 100% the fresh cacao grains, and contains no other additives, ingredients, colorants, preservants or flavorings. The product is Gluten Free and a very good option for Vegans.
• Our Cacao products are made from the highest quality cacao beans characterized by their superior flavor and fine aroma. The final product maintains all the nutritional and natural health properties of the original cacao bean. Our nibs can be eaten alone as a snack or added to mueslis and granolas, or sprinkled into smoothies and yogurts. Our Cacao Nibs are also used in the preparation of fine chocolate and associated products.
• Our company has a very strict quality control policy. We work with premium, first class raw materials and our production processes are supported by the quality control certifications HACCP, and Good Manufacturing Practices. Our objective is to guarantee the quality of our products and achieve total customer satisfaction.
What do I do with cacao bean nibs?:
* Eat them plain, chewing and experiencing the taste
* Pop a handful in your mouth with a dab of agave nectar
* Add to your fruit, nut or coconut based smoothie
* Creativity abounds in raw brownies or a raw chocolate pecan pie
Net Wt: 16 oz
Prop 65 Information: This ingredient is part of the state of California's Proposition 65 Warning. Please click HERE for more information.
Organic, Raw, Peruvian Cacao Nibs