Assessment of flavanol stereoisomers and caffeine and theobromine content in commercial chocolates

Food Chem. 2016 Oct 1;208:177-84. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.03.116. Epub 2016 Apr 1.


Assessment of the flavanol composition of 41 commercial chocolates was by HPLC-DAD. Among individual flavonols ranged from 0.095 to 3.264mgg(-1), epicatechin was the predominant flavanol accounting for 32.9%. Contrary to catechin, epicatechin was a reliable predictive value of the polyphenol content. Conversely the percentage of theobromine used as a proxy measure for nonfat cocoa solids (NFCS) was not a good predictor of epicatechin or flavanol content. In a further chiral analysis, the naturally occurring forms of cocoa flavanols, (-)-epicatechin and (+)-catechin, was determined joint the occurrence of (+)-epicatechin and (-)-catechin due to the epimerization reactions produced in chocolate manufacture. (-)-Epicatechin, the most bioactive compound and predominant form accounted of 93%. However, no positive correlation was found with% cocoa solids, the most significant quality parameter.

Keywords: Catechin; Chocolate; Epicatechin; Flavanols; Methylxanthines; Stereoisomers.

MeSH terms

  • Biflavonoids / analysis
  • Cacao / chemistry
  • Caffeine / analysis*
  • Catechin / analysis
  • Chocolate / analysis*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flavonoids / analysis*
  • Food Analysis
  • Polyphenols / analysis
  • Proanthocyanidins / analysis
  • Stereoisomerism
  • Theobromine / analysis*
  • Xanthines / analysis


  • Biflavonoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Polyphenols
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Xanthines
  • methylxanthine
  • Caffeine
  • procyanidin
  • Catechin
  • Theobromine