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What is the difference between cocoa and cacao?

Dec 1st 2021

What is the difference between cocoa and cacao?

Cacao and cocoa might sound similar and tasty. But, in reality, they are totally different! Maybe you’ve even seen raw cacao powder or cacao nibs in health food stores, leading you to wonder how they differ from standard cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

Let’s know more about the difference between cocoa and cacao.

Normal cocoa powder and chocolate have been chemically processed and roasted, which destroys a large amount of the antioxidants and flavanols (the things that keep you young and healthy). A recent study suggested that between 60% and 90% of the original antioxidants in cacao are lost through common “Dutch processing”. Dutch processing was originally developed in the early 19th Century to reduce the bitterness, darken the color, and create a more mellow flavor to chocolate, but unfortunately also eliminated a bunch of the goodness.2

The saddest thing is non-organic cocoa and non-organic chocolates have also been treated heavily with toxic pesticides and fumigation chemicals and may contain genetically modified (GMO) products. Thus, if that wasn’t enough, Oxfam estimates that over 70% of the world’s cocoa is grown by indigenous communities who are paid such a low wage that poverty is widespread. In some instances, child slaves are used, forced to engage in dangerous work such as using machetes and applying toxic pesticides.3

In contrast, the cacao bean has been prized since ancient times for its delicious flavor and remarkable health benefits. Unlike cocoa, raw cacao contains natural antioxidants, nutrients, and essential fatty acids. It has the same great taste as cocoa and is used in exactly the same way — it is just better for you!

Raw cacao powder still retains all of its beneficial nutrients making it an all-round healthier product. In particular, organic cacao contains higher levels of theobromine, which is known for improving blood circulation.4

Why Choose Organic Cacao Powder?

As aforesaid, organic cacao powder is way healthier than cocoa. Cacao powder is quite bitter but retains more of the bean’s original nutritional value. It can be a healthier alternative for recipes that call for cocoa powder.

So, what makes cacao powder healthier? The fiber in cacao powder promotes healthy digestion and can reduce the risk and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive problems. Thus, it is packed with flavonoids that are good for lowering blood pressure and reducing heart disease and inflammation.5

How To Know The Best Organic Cacao Powder?

The higher the cacao percentage in chocolate, the higher the antioxidant content, so look for products with at least 60% cacao. What’s an amazing thing to know is, pHresh Products has found a way to develop a 100% AUTHENTIC and CERTIFIED ORGANIC CACAO POWDER.

pHresh Certified Organic Cacao Powder is organically grown from the Alto Marañón and La Convención y Lares regions of Peru which are located high in the pristine Andes Mountains. It is the highest quality cacao beans available to deliver the most nutritious and least processed form of cacao powder.


If you're a fan of dark chocolate, we believe you'll fall in love with our all-natural cacao powder. Each scoop contains an energy-boosting, mood-enhancing source of antioxidant flavonoids, amino acids, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and fiber.

Each scoop contains an energy-boosting, mood-enhancing source of antioxidant flavonoids, amino acids, protein, zinc, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and fiber. You can expect a rich blend of chocolate with just a tablespoon of our cacao.

We have tons of recipes of pHresh Certified Organic Cacao Powder you can enjoy!