Cocoa and cocoa products have broad and well-proven health benefits, most of which are associated with the high antioxidant capacity of cocoa flavonoids. Most extraction methods for flavonoids in cocoa products use several steps including a defatting step and large amount of organic solvents. Moreover, they are labor-intensive and time-consuming. In this work, a pressurized hot water extraction (PHWE) method has been compared to conventional sonication extraction (CSE) method. The contribution of individual compounds to the total antioxidant capacity of the extracts was evaluated by developing an analytical technique consisting of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with photodiode array coupled to electrochemical and to charged aerosol detectors and HPLC-mass spectrometry for the confirmation of the identity of compounds present. Additionally, procyanidins were analyzed by fluorescence detection. PHWE turned out to be more efficient in extracting phenolics and methylxanthines, as compared to the conventional method, in addition to being more “green” in terms of using less organic solvents.
- Antioxidant capacity
- Electrochemical detector
- Pressurized hot water extraction