New Analytical Method Developed To Isolate Flavanols In Cocoa

You are here

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Opens the Door to Future Investigations of Individual Cocoa Compounds

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ (March 01, 2006) – As research continues to demonstrate a link between cocoa flavanol intake and heart health, a new scientific advancement will make it easier to pinpoint the individual compounds in cocoa responsible for the benefit. It will likely change the way scientists explore the health-promoting benefits of many plant-based foods.

Published in Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry(1), this new technology identifies and isolates the specific compounds in cocoa flavanols (or procyanidins) using a diol stationary phase. This new diol method is more environmentally friendly, more robust and more precise. The new technology was developed by scientists in the Analytical and Applied Sciences Group at Mars, Incorporated. The current method to analyze for cocoa flavanols was also developed by Mars in 1999.

In the past, scientists have settled for general antioxidant measurements that are non-specific and can not accurately analyze compounds like cocoa flavanols.

“Scientists can now stop estimating cocoa flavanol content using antioxidant capacity methodologies that are inherently flawed and misleading to clinical researchers and health professionals,”according to co-author Harold H. Schmitz, chief science officer at Mars, Incorporated. “Mars is especially pleased to announce this next real leap in analytical technology because it will help link the specific molecules and their health benefits to the foods which contain them. Better tools like this will lead to better information which in turn will lead to better health.”

Mars, Incorporated scientists plan to continue developing this method to move it from the qualitative to quantitative stage to validate it.

(1) Kelm MA, Johnson JC, Robbins RJ, Hammerstone JF, Schmitz HH. High-performance liquid chromotagraphy separation and purification of cacao (theobroma cacao l.) procyanidins according to degree of polymerization using a diol stationary phase. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2006;54:1571-1576.

About Mars Center For Cocoa Health Science

For more than 20 years, and based on collaborating with a multidisciplinary group of international experts, Mars, Incorporated has been conducting comprehensive and innovative research with a network of scientific collaborators around the world to advance the understanding of cocoa flavanols and their health benefits for the purpose of improving human health. Building on decades of research in cocoa flavanols, the Mars Center for Cocoa Health Science (MCCHS) was formally established in 2012 as a Center of Excellence to pioneer, capture and share the latest scientific research in the field. MCCHS provides access to more than 20 years of gold standard research, over 140 published peer-reviewed scientific papers, videos, slides and other information that Mars, Incorporated and its collaborators have developed to advance cocoa flavanol understanding. For more information, please visit Follow us:

About Mars, Incorporated

In 1911, Frank C. Mars made the first Mars candies in his Tacoma, Washington kitchen and established Mars’ first roots as a confectionery company. In the 1920s, Forrest E. Mars, Sr. joined his father in business and together they launched the MILKY WAY® bar. In 1932, Forrest, Sr. moved to the United Kingdom with a dream of building a business based on the objective of creating a “mutuality of benefits for all stakeholders” – this objective serves as the foundation of Mars, Incorporated today. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars has net sales of more than $33 billion, six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks, Symbioscience, and more than 75,000 Associates worldwide that are putting its Principles into action to make a difference for people and the planet through its performance.
For more information, please visit Follow us:,,,


# # #