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Chocolate, the union of pleasure and well-being: online an educational "pill" promoted by the University of Pisa's Nutrafood Center on Friday, June 24, with the participation of Luca Sebastiani and Andrea Raffaelli of the Sant'Anna School

Publication date: 16.06.2022
Prof. Sebastiani
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"Chocolate: the union of pleasure and well-being" is the seminar planned for Friday, June 24, at 10 a.m., organized in online mode by the Nutrafood Center, Interdepartmental Center for Nutraceutical Research and Nutrition for Health of University of Pisa, featuring Luca Sebastiani and Andrea Raffaelli, respectively professor of General Arboriculture and Arboreal Cultivation and affiliated researcher Crop Science Research Center of Sant'Anna School, among the speakers.

The meeting is part of the cycle "Pills of Nutrafood," a series of educational events on the predominant theme of the Interdepartmental Center for Nutraceutical Research and Nutrition for Health of the University of Pisa: food in its various aspects, from production, to nutritional and nutraceutical aspects, up to applications in the medical field of biomolecules.

The term "chocolate" defines "a product made from cocoa products and sugars that has a minimum total dry cocoa solids content of 35%, of which not less than 18% is cocoa butter and not less than 14% is dry defatted cocoa." A delicious and very mouth-watering food product, chocolate thanks to its aromatic notes is loved by almost everyone. But in addition to all this and, therefore, to its hedonistic value, which other qualities does chocolate have? In chocolate there are plant alkaloids such as theobromine and caffeine, the same contained in coffee and tea, molecules that are able to stimulate the brain allowing it to be more responsive to external stimuli. But is also present tetrahydroisoquinoline, a substance that has the capacity to give a feeling of well-being and gratification by stimulating receptors in the central nervous system.

In chocolate are also present many flavonoids, plant antioxidants that help our blood vessels maintain their elasticity, preventing the heart from becoming fatigued. Moreover, chocolate is rich of volatile compounds that, together with the other ingredients, contribute to its unique and characteristic aroma. Many of these are formed during processing, which must be done by the book to achieve a quality product.


Alessandro Saba (Dipartimento di Patologia; University of Pisa)

Andrea Raffaelli (Sant'Anna School): Antiossidanti polifenolici: l’aspetto chimico.

Luca Sebastiani (Sant’Anna School): L’unione fa la forza: unire le mele al cioccolato per ottenere nuovi prodotti ricchi di polifenoli.

Guido Flamini (Dipartimento di Farmacia; University of Pisa): Dal seme di cacao al cioccolato: andamento dei composti volatili aromatici di un cioccolato di qualità durante le diverse fasi della filiera produttiva.

Claudio Cantini (Istituto per BioEconomia; CNR): Cacao e prodotti tipici toscani tra gusto e salute.

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Info: Lucia Guidi

In copertina: Luca Sebastiani.