P K Wilson and W J Hurst
The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge,
There is more to those well-advertised chocolate treats than meets the eye. The essence of chocolate is Theobroma cacao, which aptly translates as 'food of the gods'. T. cacao is a native of the upper Amazon basin, and generates a multi-million dollar global industry. These and other facts are presented in the opening two chapters.
The subsequent two chapters examine its chemistry, genetic constitution and the potential for improvement of the plant.
The remaining chapters examine topics including relationships with digestive processes and diabetes; relevance to cardiovascular health; and the significance of chocolate in women's health, skin health and dental health.
This is a readable text with good referencing and useful explanations that relate to an everyday commodity – one to be relished, but consumed in small amounts.
Dr A M Mannion