Reading between the lines: cacao vs. cocoa
You’ve probably noticed that the ingredients in chocolate vary between containing cocoa and cacao on the packaging. Though they are derived from the same plant and sound similar, there are differences between the two.
Cacao refers to the beans that have not been roasted, while cocoa refers to beans that have been roasted. Cacao in its purest form has an intense bitter taste. Cocoa is roasted at a much higher temperature and typically supplemented with additives (dairy, sugar, artificial flavours) to cut the bitterness. After cacao has been heated at high temperatures, many of its nutrients degrade. A product that is labeled cacao, is the raw bean, and is usually minimally processed to maintain all of the impressive nutrients that make it a superfood.