Mars Corp. Won’t Tell Me the Flavonoid Content of Dove Dark Chocolate

Via a website, I asked about the flavonoid content of Dove dark chocolate. In China, a package of Dove dark chocolate has a picture of a heart — meaning the food is “heart-healthy”. The heart benefits are believed to come from flavonoids. Mars has been exploring this idea in various ways, such as this special process and these special chocolates.

An email from Mars said I should call a hotline. The woman who answered did not know what flavonoids are. “Do you want to know the cocoa content?” she asked more than once. No, the flavonoid content, I said. She looked. “We don’t have that information,” she said. Haha!

I said the flavonoids in chocolate are believed to be responsible for the health benefits of chocolate. (That’s true, but I might have said flavanols — a type of flavonoid — instead of the much broader term flavonoid.) “We don’t make health claims for our chocolates,” the Mars representative said. (As if a picture of a heart on a package is not a health claim. No doubt there is an important difference between US and Chinese law.) I can see why she would say that. Our brilliant government, protecting us from crazy ideas such as chocolate and yogurt are healthy, but not from the exaggerations of doctors and drug companies. Which is more dangerous, (a) eating chocolate or yogurt or (b) being cut open?

8 Responses to “Mars Corp. Won’t Tell Me the Flavonoid Content of Dove Dark Chocolate”

  1. Nick Says:

    Oo. That’s even more annoying than when Dove labels it as “dark chocolate” without specifying the percent cocoa.

  2. Matt Says:

    Hi Seth,

    Love the blog.

    Just wanted to let you know that the link at the bottom (http://blog.sethroberts.net/2013/12/30/man-beats-prostate-cancer/?preview=true) is broken.

    Regards,
    Matt.

    Seth: I fixed it, thanks.

  3. dearieme Says:

    Being cut open by someone who’s eating chocolate.

  4. Mark Says:

    “hey, you got chocolate in my gall bladder”… sorry, you have to harken back to the old Reeses’ peanut butter cup commercials…

  5. anon Says:

    Seth,

    Not relevant to the post, sorry:

    I’m a teacher, and I’m looking for any websites/books/resources regarding experiments that teachers have done independently in their classrooms to improve test scores, student satisfaction, etc. I’m looking for a sort of “quantified classroom” approach I guess. I like to consider myself science-minded, but when I thought about implementing experiments in my classroom, I wasn’t sure where to start. If you have any thoughts or could make any suggestions through a post, comment, or e-mail, I’d appreciate it.

  6. TomGinTX Says:

    Be worried if someone is eating Junior Mints while observing your surgery.

  7. Christian Kleineidam Says:

    @Anon Teacher:

    What do you teach? One of the thing were quantified self works well if it’s about something you are interested in.

    You might just ask your students. One the one hand we could do boring stuff in class. We could also do cool experiments. If any of you has a good proposal for an experiment we will do it.

    Then have a genuine discussion with your students about their ideas and see whether you can lead them to something that makes a good experiment.

  8. anon Says:

    I teach English as a Second Language (ESL) to adults.

    One idea that crossed my mind is having students vote on enjoyment/engagement following an activity using their smartphones–there are sites that allow you to tally/analyze data from such votes.

    I do interest inventories with my students, as you suggested, and they are great. Good suggestion. We don’t run experiments per se, as it’s not a science class, but I’m rather free to direct content toward student interest so this idea is still useful.

    Thanks for your thoughts.