Questions for ‘Increasingly, chocolate-makers turn to science’

Three different tasty treats: dark chocolate (bottom), milk chocolate (middle), and white chocolate (top, right)

Simon A. Eugster CC BY-SA 3.0

To accompany feature “Increasingly, chocolate-makers turn to science” 


Before Reading

1. How often do you eat chocolate? What’s your favorite type?

2. Do you think of chocolate more as a special treat or an everyday snack?

During Reading

1. What did the ancient Maya and Aztec peoples call chocolate? How did they use it?

2. What plant produces chocolate?

3. How is chocolate made from pods?

4. Besides cocoa products, what are four other ingredients often found in chocolate bars today?

5. What does an emulsifier do?

6. Why are antioxidants important in a person’s diet?

7. What are flavanols? How can they affect the body?

8. Where in the world are cacao trees grown?  What countries supply the most?

9. Which traits are Guiltinan and Maximova trying to improve in cacao trees?

10. Why is improving cacao trees important?

After Reading

1.  Read the label on your favorite type of chocolate. Which ingredients from the cacao plant does it contain? How much fat and sugar does it contain — and how do those amounts compare to the recommended daily intake of those nutrients?


1.  Using a globe or world map, find all the places listed in the article where cacao trees are grown. How are these locations similar? How are they different? Why are they good places for growing chocolate?