What is Cocoa processed with alkali?
Cocoa powder is processed when chocolate is made into a liquid and is pressed to remove 3/4's of the cocoa butter it contains. The remaining cocoa solids left from being pressed are processed to make unsweetened cocoa powder. The two types of cocoa powder are natural (not processing) and a Dutch processed version.
Two types of unsweetened cocoa powder:
Dutch-Processed cocoa powder is put in with an alkali to neutralize its acids also known as Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Because it is treated with alkali it becomes neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes that require baking powder, but can be used in reciepes without bakingsoda if there are other acidic ingredients in large enough quantities used. It is naturally reddish-brown color, and is very easily dissolved in liquids. Also it has a mild flavor. Cocoa Powder natrually unsweetned has a very bitter taste and has a very deep chocolate flavor in baked foods. Its strong flavor makes it popular for baking in cookies, brownies and some chocolate cakes. If natural cocoa (a acid before processing) is used in recipes that need baking soda (a form of alkali), it helps develop a leavening action that makes the batter rise while in the oven.
Popular Brands
Popular brands are Hershey's, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger. Hershey's plants can be found in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The first Ghirardelli establishment was in San Fransisco, and since then have moved all over the continental US. Scharffen Berger was also founded in California, with its biggest plant to date in Berkeley, California. Some companies even use it with their low fat or sugar free candies.
Is cocoa natural?
Cocoa is natural, but it is no longer natural after it is processed with an alkali. Cocoa is a dried and slightly fermented seed from the cacao tree. Cocoa powder is a powder produced by rubbing the cocoa seeds together, which removes the cocoa butter, from the bitter and solid seed.
Is cocoa harvested?
Cocoa is harvested in many countries all across the world. Pods are harvested from cacao trees, and then the seeds and pulp are extracted, while the rind is thrown out. The pods are opened with a machete and the seeds and pulp are put into huge containers. These piles are allowed to sit out and "sweat". Sweating allows the pulp to ferment causing the pulp to liquefy and makes it easy to separate the seeds. Then the fermented seeds, after being separated from the pulp, are dried and ready for use.
The role of cocoa powder in cakes?
When used alone in cakes, cocoa powder gives it a full rich chocolate flavor and dark color.
What other foods is cocoa used in?
Cocoa is found in all types of chocolate, all types of baked goods including cookies, brownies, and etc., hot chocolate, and sometimes used with chicken. Cocoa is mainly used as a sweet, but occasionally people use the cocoa with white meat like chicken and pork.
What minerals are found in cocoa?
Minerals include Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Potassium, Sodium, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium. Cocoa is mainly Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Potassium while the other minerals are in it in very small doses.
What is the primary alkaloid found in cocoa and what is its formula?
The primary alkaloid found in cocoa is theobromine. It is normally about .5 % to 2.7% of all the chocolate, so just a fraction of the big picture surrounding chocolate. The chemical formula for the alkaloid is C7H8N4O2.
Theobromine.png
Theobromine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine
Interesting Facts
Natural antioxidants, like antioxidants found in tea and certain fruits, can be found in Hershey's cocoa. Cocoa may be linked to a cut in blood pressure and lower death risks because of natural compounds found in the cocoa called flavanols. Flavanols hold many characteristics in common with antioxidants. There is a city in Florida called Cocoa and it is located near Orlando. Some fast food establishments like McDonalds uses this ingredient. Cocoa is considered to be a $60 Billion Dollar Flavor and has amazed the world since it was created.


Works Cited
www.dietriot.com/fff/mcd/mcd.html
http://www.gastronomique.org/nutrition/food/19166minerals.html
http://www.ghirardelli.com/
http://www.artisanconfection.com/stores/scharffenberger/about/history.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theobromine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/524514
http://www.joyofbaking.com/cocoa.html