Recently Rated:

Theobromine & Caffeine in Cacao

user image 2014-05-03
By: ChocoFiles
Posted in:

As I have since 2007 I am once again researching theobromine and caffeine in cacao.

Starting with this study:

"HPLC Determination of Methylxanthines and Polyphenols Levels In Cocoa and Chocolate Product"

I am going to add to this as I go along and learn more so I will warn you in advance that it will be rambling and not very well organized. Someday I hope to have my conclusions more organized.

Excerpt from the abstract:

"imported chocolate, the mean theobromine and caffeine levels respectively were 1.05 mg/g and 0.12 mg/g in dark chocolate; 0.76 mg/g and 0.04 mg/g in milk chocolate; and 0.74 mg/g and 0.03 mg/g in white chocolate"


1) what does "imported" refer to?

2) What is the percentage of the cacao in this "dark" chocolate? Certainly the higher the percentage the greater the amount of theobromine.

3) How does white chocolate have any theobromine in it?

Disclaimer: I have not yet read the whole article, so these questions may already be answered there.


Also learning more about theobromine from "Theobromine" at


Will post this now and add more later...

Please feel free to comment, and especially to add references to any definitive studies that you know of.


05/05/14 02:18:58PM @sebastian:

I'm afraid you'll find this exercise a bit like trying to consistently answer the question of "how many clouds are there in the sky" - it depends on what time of day, where you're at, and what's going on with the weather patterns. And if that butterfly in tibet actually did flap his wings or not.

Unless you've got a very good understanding and control of your bean source (harvest and post-harvest practices) as well as your liquor AND chocolate production processes - you're going to find you have wild variation between samples.

White chocolate - the only things i can think of as to why theobromine was present would be:

1) the analytical method and preparation are sloppy. remember results are only as good as the tools used and the ones using them. it's fantastically easy to find someone who doesn't understand the tools or now to use them, and as a result you can get results that are not accurate

2) if the cocoa butter was natural (undeodorized) and not filtered well, there can be some solids in the butter itself.

3) there could also be cross contamination in the production equipment used to make the chocolates. hardly anyone has 2 pieces of identical equipment to make different types of chocolate on, so they use shared systems. if not properly cleaned, your white chocolate can contain some amount of whatever was run before it and lingers on in the system...