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A World Without Chocolates: Solving the Global Chocolate Crisis with Mangoes

Sep 08, 2016 04:10 AM EDT

What would the world be like without the decadent chocolates? Sad isn't it? Fret not; scientists have discovered a new hero fruit on the rise.

Cocoa Shortage a Global Crisis

According to Bloomberg, based on the current global cocoa consumption, it is estimated that the world could experience chocolate shortage for more than half a century.

Aside from the smaller harvests brought by the unfavorable weather conditions in Ivory Coast and Ghana, the biggest cocoa growers, the International Cocoa Organization notes on its website that cocoa production is affected by a range of pests and diseases, which negatively influence cocoa production by 40 percent.

These factors result to production shortage, higher demands and higher prices. The demand for cocoa is, in fact, predicted to rise by 30 percent by 2020.

In lieu with exploring how we can halt the dwindling cocoa production, researchers at Bangor University have come up with an amazing discovery. According to their study published in Scientific Reports, wild mangoes (Mangifera sylvatica), can be a new cocoa butter alternative.

Cocoa Butter and Wild Mangoes

Cocoa butter is a fatty substance obtained from cocoa beans. Aside from greatly contributing to production of the well-loved chocolates, it is also used to produce cosmetic products as it is very beneficial in moisturizing and softening dry skin.

Dr.Josh Axe claims that cocoa butter contains high antioxidants that fights off the signs of aging, improves heart health and increases immunity.

Wild mangoes, on the other hand, have been found out to have several superior properties to be an alternative for cocoa butter. Analysis of the researchers showed that wild mangoes' fatty acid and triglyceride profiles are just similar with cocoa butter, as well as its thermal and physical properties. Moreover, wild mangoes can even enhance the existing properties of cocoa butter, making it a Cocoa Butter Improver (CBI).

Sayma Akhter, the senior author of the study said in a press release, "Wild mango is one of the so-called ‘Cinderella' species whose real potential is unrealised. The identification of real added value as we have shown in this study, could pluck it from obscurity into mainstream production."

"With the support of government and non-governmental organisations, small scale industries could be set up to create a new income source for local people. There are many other new products that can come from underutilised fruits which are still waiting for proper attention," he added.

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