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Cocoa Theobroma cacao
Location: Madagascar, Dominican Republic, TogoAccording to Aztec legend, the cocoa tree was a gift to man from the god Quetzalcoatl, in tribute to a princess who was sacrificed for refusing to betray her husband. From the young woman’s blood, the god brought forth a tree whose pods contained a treasure of precious cocoa beans, as bitter as pain, as strong as virtue, and as red as blood. To be made edible, cocoa beans must undergo a process of fermentation, drying, then roasting. Afterwards, they are shelled to extract the kernels which give the cocoa paste. It is from this paste that cocoa butter and cocoa powder are obtained. Cocoa unsaponifiables are extracted from the most precious fraction of the butter. These help to nourish the skin, protect it from dehydration, and prevent skin ageing. Cocoa powder extract, rich in polyphenols and OPCs (Oligomeric proanthocyanidins), has soothing and anti-free radical properties.