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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2000 Feb;54(2):120-5.

Digestibility of cocoa butter from chocolate in humans: a comparison with corn-oil.

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  • 1Nestlé Research Center Lausanne, Nestec Ltd, Lausanne, Switzerland.



To compare, in humans, the digestibility of moderate amounts of cocoa butter (30.7 g/d) consumed in the form of chocolate as part of a normal western diet with that of a well-absorbed fat (corn oil); and hence determine whether, by virtue of its apparent low absorption, cocoa butter can be considered to be a low calorie fat.


Randomised, two-period crossover metabolic study, conducted under free-living conditions, but with strict control over food intake.


Metabolic Unit, Nestlé Research Center Lausanne.


Twelve healthy men were selected from volunteers at the Nestlé Research Center and all subjects completed the study.


Two treatment periods of two weeks each: cocoa butter and control periods, with strict dietary control separated by a two week wash out period.


No differences (P>0.05) were observed in faecal weight (wet or dry), faecal fat nor in defecation frequency between treatments (cocoa butter and corn oil). Cocoa butter at a dose of 30.7 g/d in the form of black chocolate, consumed between two meals, was found to have a similar digestibility to that of corn oil (99 % of corn oil digestibility).


Cocoa butter, consumed as back chocolate within a normal mixed diet, has a high digestibility, similar to that of corn oil, and a digestible energy value of 37 kJ/g in man. Thus, cocoa butter cannot be considered to be a low-calorie fat.


Nestec Ltd, Switzerland. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2000) 54, 120-125

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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