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Chocolate is the typical sweet taste of cocoa seeds, usually brown food, baked and ground. It is made in liquid, paste or block form, or used as a seasoning ingredient in other foods. Cocoa beans have a history of at least 3000 years in Central America and have been cultivated in many cultures. The earliest evidence used dates back to mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala) and chocolate drinks to 1900 BC. The seeds of cacao tree have a strong bitter taste, which must be fermented to produce flavor.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, washed and baked. Remove the shell to produce the cocoa granules, then grind them into cocoa block of pure chocolate. Once cocoa is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquid. The liquid can also be cooled and processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Baked chocolate (also known as bitter chocolate) contains different proportions of cocoa solids and cocoa butter, with no sugar added. Most of the chocolate consumed today is sweet chocolate, cocoa solids, cocoa butter or a mixture of added vegetable oil and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate, which also contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar and milk, but not cocoa solids.

Cocoa solids are sources of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine. Chocolate also contains anamide.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and has created many foods involving chocolate, especially desserts including cakes, puddings, mousse, chocolate brownies and chocolate cookies. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweet chocolate. Solid chocolate bars and chocolate coated candy bars can be used as snacks. In some western holidays (such as Easter and Valentine's day), chocolate gifts molded into different shapes (such as eggs and hearts) have become a tradition. Chocolate is also used in hot and cold drinks, such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate, as well as some alcoholic drinks, such as cocoa butter.

Although cocoa originated in America, African countries have played a leading role in cocoa production in recent years. Since the 2000s, nearly two-thirds of the world's Cocoa has been produced in West Africa and nearly half in Ivory Coast. In 2009, the Salvation Army's department for International Development said that child labour, as well as trafficking and enslavement of child labour, were used in cocoa cultivation in Africa.

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