Cacao powder is harvested from a large pod of cacao fruit containing around 60 beans in a pulp. The process continues when the beans are dried, fermented, crushed, fat removal, and grounded into a fine powder. The powder does not consist of any sugar, milk, or fats. The process may proceed further to sweetening or flavoring, but it can also be packed from hereon.
Cacao powder is mainly used in large quantities in the confectionery division. However, it is now a hit in the pharmaceutical industry because of its components. Cacao powder contains minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, zinc, and vital vitamins, which are beneficial to the body.
It has been proven that cacao powder lowers blood pressure, lowers bad cholesterol, and prevents stroke. Additionally, cacao powder acts as an antidepressant increasing the serotonin and endorphin levels of the body that is responsible for mood levels. Moreover, the powder has a high amount of an antioxidant called polyphenols to fight cancer. It is also an immune system booster, which increases the oxygen levels of the brain, preventing it from dementia. Research shows that cacao beverages combat hypertension, coronary artery disease, hyperlipidemia, and relaxation of vascular muscle cells.
Cacao powder has also been in the cosmetic industry for years. The powder is usually added in the soap-making process giving the natural brown color.
Estimated Market Growth
The cacao powder market is anticipated to increase its value from USD 2.54 Billion in 2019 to USD 3.06 Billion by 2027. Forecasts show that the Asia Pacific may have the fastest growth rate of 3.5% in the period 2020-2027. The region is followed by Europe, which is likely to have an increase of 2.2% growth rate; while North America is estimated to have a growth of 2% in the same year bracket. The growth rate is based on the food and beverage industry’s increasing demand and the consumers changing food habits to a healthy lifestyle.
Both online and offline market channels are anticipated to drastically change in the forecast period. The online distribution channel may reach a 4.8% growth rate and a 2.14% growth rate for offline distribution channels by 2027. The age of the internet and smart devices helps manufacturers and producers to market the products at a lower cost giving the consumers, customers, or clients a fair review of the products and services.
Cacao powder is not only famous in the food and beverages sector but also the pharmaceutical field. The industry contributed to the drastic increase in the consumption of cacao powder. Cacao powder helps in the functioning of platelets and blood vessels, resulting in normal blood pressure.
In 2019, North America yields the highest share of consumption in bakery and confectioneries such as chocolates and cookies used on various occasions. The numbers are expected to grow at a rate of 2% in the forecast period. The European market, especially the UK, Spain, and Germany, is expected to grow at 2.2% in the forecast period.
Cacao Powder Quality Control
While the demand for cacao powder increases, consumers and health administration also increase their demands on high-quality control analysis before and during the commercialization process. There are now new advances to control cacao’s quality and authenticity, such as the chromatographic analysis that determines metabolites and other contaminants. The most common method, which is still being used by most of the manufacturers, is spectroscopy, which is applied in the post-harvest stage to evaluate various biochemical parameters and to assess the authenticity of cacao beans and its by-products.