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CHM00133 - EVALUATION OF INORGANIC ELEMENTS IN COCOA LEAVE AND ITS TEAS USING AAS AND XRF


CHAPTER ONE

1.0      INTRODUCTION

Coffee, tea, and cocoa are important dietary sources of polyphenols and have received much attention during the past years because of their potential beneficial effects on cardiovascular health.[Mesas, et al.2012] The polyphenols in these beverages and cocoa may reduce the risk of stroke through multiple mechanisms, including antihypertensive, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects as well as through improvements of vascular endothelial function and insulin sensitivity. This review summarizes the available evidence from experimental studies, prospective studies, and metaanalyses of the potential role of coffee, tea, and cocoa in the prevention of stroke.Coffee is a complex beverage with hundreds of bioactive components with potential adverse or beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. The most abundant bioactive compounds in coffee are caffeine, diterpenes (present in the oil), and polyphenols. The cardiovascular effects of coffee drinking depend in part on coffee preparation method and individual characteristics (eg, hypertension and hyperlipidemia).[Mesas, et al.2011 Steffen, et al.2012 and Cai et al.2012]. There are 2 main methods of coffee preparation: filtered and unfiltered. Filtered coffee, also known as drip-brewed coffee, is the most common mode of preparation in the United States and involves brewing the coffee through a paper filter. Unfiltered coffee, often known as boiled coffee//, do not use a filter and includes Scandinavian boiled.[Cai et al.2012]

Tea is the most frequently consumed beverage in the world after water. Tea is produced from the leaves of the plan and can be classified by degree of fermentation: black tea (fermented), predominantly consumed in Western countries; oolong tea (partially fermented), primarily consumed in Southern China and Taiwan; and green tea (unfermented), mainly consumed in Asia. All types of tea are rich in various flavonoids. Catechins are the main flavonoids in green tea, whereas black tea mainly contains condensed flavonoids, such as theaflavins and thearubigins[Hodgson and Croft 2010].Tea and tea-derived flavonoids have been demonstrated to have a hypocholesterolemic effect and to reduce the development of atherosclerosis in animal models. Tea flavonoids can enhance nitric oxide status and improve endothelial function, which could at least partly be responsible for the benefits of tea on cardiovascular health.[Hodgson et al 2010 and Moore et al. 2009]

Cocoa was among the first domesticated plants in the Andean region and over the past 8,000 years has acquired a wide range of medicinal, nutritional and ceremonial uses (Dillehay et al. 2010, Plowman 1984). Although it may be difficult to comprehend in Western culture, cocoa is a sacred plant whose cultivation and use is interwoven with the daily lives of millions of South Americans. The historical and contemporary significance of cocoa is a complex subject, and the reader will realize that a complete understanding of the dichotomous social aspects of this plant requires elaboration via the many publications we reference.

In assessing cocoa leaf consumption, it should be remembered that cocaine is but one chemical among many of a vegetal complex with varied, pharmacological actions. The reputation of cocaine as a dangerous and disruptive drug among modern consumers sharply contrasts with the traditional and religious use of the cocoa leaf among South American indigenous and mestizo peoples.

 In the harsh and extreme environments of the Andes, mastication of the leaves for their mild stimulating and medicinal properties has shaped the plant spiritual roles as a bridge between the indigenous peoples and environments within the divine geography of the Andes (Davis 2009, 1996; Allen 2002). In more recent millennia, coca was adapted to the Amazon basin where it also became incorporated into creation stories of numerous tribes (Plowman 1986, Reichel-Dolmatoff 1971).

There are a number of scientific studies of the pharmacological and psychological effects of cocaine paste, cocaine hydrochloride, or cocaine base as compared with the chewing of cocoa leaf (see Weil 1981, Hurtado 2008). Modern research suggests that the potent psychoactive effects and personality disintegration of cocaine use has little relation to the complex and milder stimulant properties of cocoa chewing. Nutritional analysis of the cocoa leaf has documented numerous essential vitamins and minerals that add to this distinction.

Today, even individuals who do not chew the leaves will commonly utilise them in folk medicine or religious ceremonies. Indeed, the overarching effects of cocoa consumption contradict the global anti-coca legislation embodied in the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. This legislation dates back to the 1950 UN Commission of Enquiry on the Coca Leaf, written at the high point of historical anti-coca fervour and founded upon biased and racist observational reports. 

Today, cocoa leaf is still revered for its medicinal, nutritional and ceremonial uses by over five million South Americans, but it is also a political symbol of indigenous resistance to Western hegemony and a factor in the formal and informal economies of Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and beyond. While some culture groups maintain the ancient traditions that honor the sacred leaf and connections with their ancestors, others, under the spell of cocaine capitalism, unceremoniously dump the leaves into pits of toxic chemicals to extract its particularly lucrative alkaloid. Meanwhile the majority of cocoa leaf users are engrossed in their daily livelihoods and cultural practices as the global complexities and contradictions surrounding this tenacious plant continue to unfold.  In the spirit of previous important efforts to represent the state of current knowledge on cocoa leaf  (Leons and Sanabria 1997, Pacini and Franquemont 1986).

 

1.1   AIM OF THE STUDIES

The aim of this study is to evaluate the concentration of chemical elements in cocoa leave and its teas prepared by decoction, to better understand its nutrient value and toxicity with respect to the recommended daily intake.

1.2   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDIES

To determine the level of chemical elements in cocoa leave using AAS and XRF.

To determine the level of chemical elements in filtrate of the decoction of cocoa leave.

To determine the level of chemical elements in residue of the decoction of cocoa leave

To determine the level of chemical element in dry sample of cocoa leave.