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Evaluation of cocoa level as a parameter of quality in chocolates by direct analysis in mass spectrometry and imaging

Grant number: 14/21791-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2015
Effective date (End): December 31, 2015
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Pharmacy - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Rodrigo Ramos Catharino
Grantee:Ana Carolina Bueno Camargo
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas (FCF). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Chocolate is a very popular food consumed worldwide. On the market, there are different types of chocolate (dark, milk, white) that can be manufactured, which have different levels of cocoa solids, milk fat and cocoa butter. Several studies have reported that consumption of chocolate can contribute to good health maintenance, with beneficial effects on endothelial function, blood pressure and cardiovascular function. This is due to the presence of flavonoids characterized as flavan-3-ols or flavonols, monomeric forms including, (-) epicatechin and (-) catechin monomers, and their oligomers, procyanidins. The concentrations of flavonoids depend on the methods of processing chocolate, which can reduce or maintain the level of these substances. One in three chocolates sold in Brazil, produced by large industries, is not made with the minimum percentage of cocoa required by law (25%). In the current market, many chocolates do not reach 5%. In addition, many dark chocolates, with assumed higher level of cocoa (50% to 70%), do not present a stated percentage. The use of mass spectrometry as an analytical tool with high sensitivity and specificity has been giving new directions to research chocolates and food analysis in general. Using MALDI-MSI in direct analysis of food is an interesting way to develop methodologies that can identify cocoa and other substances marker molecules, and useful tools in the quality control of these products and reduction of risks to consumers.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE OLIVEIRA, DIOGO N.; CAMARGO, ANA C. B.; MELO, CARLOS F. O. R.; CATHARINO, RODRIGO R.. A fast semi-quantitative screening for cocoa content in chocolates using MALDI-MSI. Food Research International, v. 103, p. 8-11, . (14/00084-2, 14/21791-9, 11/50400-0, 15/06809-1, 16/17066-2)

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