Up to today there are millions of people who think about chocolate just at the mention of cocoa, but is that all it’s worth?
The cocoa bean apart from its use in chocolate production has also been explored in many other products such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other confectionery products.
We do not talk much about the uses of the byproduct of cocoa which is the pod husk and the shells of the bean. Research has however indicated that these byproducts have also been explored by many industries.
In the cosmetic industry, cocoa powder has been used in manufacturing makeup powder, bodyscrubs, etc. The cocoa butter which is the most dominant composite in the cocoa bean is commonly found in body lotions, soaps, and many hair products. Cocoa therefore can be said to have amazing intrinsic and extrinsic effects on its user talking of improving and maintaining good health and skincare.
Energy needs of manufacturing companies are usually high and it is always the focus of many industries to cut down their energy usage. Be it replacing old machinery with more energy efficient ones or exploring other means to generate energy at cheaper rates. From research, the husk of the cocoa pod has been found to be a valuable bio-fuel (https://climatenewsnetwork.net/cocoa-fuel-combats-climate-change/) and projected to support electricity supply in rural areas.
Shell nuts are currently used by some companies to fuel their machines and therefore can be used as a case study however, the common challenge with the use of cocoa husk for this purpose especially in Ghana is how to coordinate and retrieve all the husks from the various farms. This is because cocoa farming is done by many households and in small quantities hence would require extensive planning and corporation from the farmers.
In the confectionery industries, there are many other products developed from cocoa aside chocolate bars. Cocoa powder has been used in many instant drinks with some popular brands being GoldenTree Alltime Instant Drinking Chocolate, Cadbury Hot Chocolate, Nestlé Milo and many others.
Dragees, such as the M&M, GoldenTree NuttyChoc, etc are also produced using energy dense nuts, cocoa and other ingredients. These have become a convenient snack and energy booster for students and the working class.
Taking about energy boosting, cocoa was explored in spread production many years ago by an Italian bakery owner called Pietro Ferrero in the 1940‘s (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/world-nutella-day-10-things-you-didnt-know-about-the-choc-spread/). This was a cheaper alternative to the chocolate which during the world war was in short supply. Today chocolate spread is part of our breakfast meals and is usually spread on breads, pastries and cakes. Popular chocolate spread brands are Nutella however in Ghana, the GoldenTree ChocoDelight spread is the most known brand.
Each day that passes by other uses of cocoa is explored by the various manufacturing industries. Apart from the chocolate bar, there are many exciting products that are derived from cocoa.