Wuxi Skyswan Food Technology Co., Ltd.
Wuxi Skyswan Food Technology Co., Ltd.

Cocoa Powder Buying Guide: Avoiding Common Mistakes

Classification of Cocoa Powder

Production Method

Natural process cocoa powder is directly processed and ground from cocoa beans without adding any chemicals. It has a pH value of 5.3-5.8 and is a weak acidic substance. It has a fresh and natural aroma. Alkalised cocoa powder adds alkali during production to remove the acidity and bitterness of natural cocoa powder. It has a pH value of 6.8-8.1 and a stronger and heavier aroma.

Fat Content

Cocoa powder can be classified into high, medium, and low-fat cocoa powders based on its fat content. Natural high fat cocoa powder has a cocoa butter content of more than 20%, medium-fat cocoa powder has a content of 14%-20%, and low-fat cocoa powder has a content of 10%-12%.


Cocoa powder mainly comes from two origins: West Africa and Indonesia.

How to Choose Authentic Natural Cocoa Powder?

  • Appearance. Good quality cocoa powder has low water content and no caking. Its color is light brown or reddish-brown. If the color is too dark, it may have added food coloring (except for black cocoa powder).

  • Texture. The finer the powder, the better the quality. Rub cocoa powder in your palm. If your palm is dry, it indicates a low-fat content. If it feels oily, it indicates a high-fat content.

  • Taste. Good quality cocoa powder has a light and lasting fragrance after brewing. Poor quality cocoa powder may have a burnt smell or a strong aroma, which may be due to the addition of flavorings.

  • Cocoa flavanols. The alkalization process may destroy the cocoa flavanols. If the outer packaging is marked with "natural cocoa," the product has not undergone alkalization and should have a higher cocoa flavanol content.

Daily Use of Cocoa Powder

  • Use 60g of cocoa powder instead of 30g of flour in baking nut bread.

  • Use a quarter of cocoa powder instead of flour when making chocolate cake. Mix it evenly and add it to the beaten egg whites to improve the texture of the cake.

  • When making chocolate cake, sprinkle a mixture of cocoa powder and flour in an oiled baking pan to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin or pan.

  • To neutralize the acidity of natural cocoa powder, add a small amount of baking soda when making acidic desserts. Baking soda can also create a foaming effect that makes the cake lighter.

  • Alkalized cocoa powder is recommended for desserts that don't require leavening, such as truffles, cookies, sauces, and pastries. It has a softer texture.

  • Cocoa powder is not only used for baking but also has health benefits. It can improve mood, relieve depression, lower blood pressure, enhance cognitive and memory function, and has a powerful antioxidant ability. It is recommended to consume about three teaspoons of cocoa powder per day, mixed with milk.