Dutch Processed

Sometimes people ask me “What is Dutch Process Chocolate?” Basically, this is chocolate that has been treated with an alkali. The process results in enhanced color, lower acidity, better solubility, and less flavor.

Back in the 1820’s a Dutch chemist by the name of Van Houten developed the process by which one can darken chocolate as well as reduce its bitterness. Unfortunately this process also reduces the chocolate flavor.

Even so there is a perceived benefit to the consumer. The darker chocolate color is generally thought of as being of higher quality.  (It’s best to read a label because “dark chocolate” is not Dutched, rather dutched chocolate is darker than its non-Dutched counterpart.)

The darkest, chemically altered cocoa is called black cocoa. And, it’s the ingredient in the top and bottom parts of Oreo cookies.

While we might like the look of the darker chocolate, the Dutch process greatly reduces the antioxidant benefits of chocolate.  So if you are looking for healthy chocolates avoid Dutch process.

You can learn more chocolate facts at Chocolate University Online.

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