African Journal of

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Biotechnol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1684-5315
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJB
  • Start Year: 2002
  • Published Articles: 12463

Full Length Research Paper

Epicatechin content and antioxidant capacity of cocoa beans from four different countries

Azizah Othman1, Abbe Maleyki Mhd Jalil2, Kong Kin Weng2, Amin Ismail2,3*, Nawalyah Abd.Ghani2 and Ilham Adenan4
  1Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA Malaysia, 40450 Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. 2Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. 3Laboratory of Analysis and Authentication, Halal Products Research Institute, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. 4Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Kepong, 52109 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 20 November 2009
  •  Published: 15 February 2010



Natural antioxidant has received more attention to be part of daily diet. Cocoa beans is one of the main sources of polyphenols especially epicatechin. This study was conducted to investigate the relationship between antioxidant potential and epicatechin content of raw cocoa beans from different countries, namely Malaysia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Sulawesi (Indonesia). Antioxidant potential was determined using trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. Reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to quantify the amount of epicatechin. The epicatechin content of raw cocoa beans was in the range of 270 - 1235 mg/100 g cocoa beans. Based on the two assays, Sulawesian beans exhibited the highest antioxidant capacity followed by Malaysian, Ghanaian and Cote d’Ivoirian beans for both extracts. Both ethanolic (r = 0.92) and water (r = 0.90) extracts of cocoa beans showed a significant positive and high correlation between epicatechin and TEAC value. Similarly, FRAP assay also showed a positive and high correlation with epicatechin for both ethanolic (r = 0.84) and water (r = 0.79) extracts. Results indicated that antioxidant capacity using two different antioxidant assays exhibited a positive and high correlation with epicatechin content in cocoa beans. Thus, epicatechin content in cocoa beans could be responsible for the antioxidant capacity.


Key words: Epicatechin, cocoa beans, antioxidant activity.