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Ancient cultures knew that certain foods were difficult if not impossible to digest in their completely raw and natural state and so implemented methods like fermentation in order to break these foods down so that they were able to digest them easily and obtain their nutrients.  This is exactly the case with raw cacao beans.

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Fermentation is a process that is highly beneficial to any food in increasing the enzyme activity of that food and increasing the nutrient availability. 

Cacao beans, still covered with pulp, are placed in large, shallow wooden boxes or are left in piles and covered with banana leaves to start their fermentation process.

Once extracted from the pod-like fruit, purified water is then used to cleanse the beans. These whole beans are unpeeled and do not contain sugar or any other additives. They are then dried at low temperature and packed.

Cacao beans though called a bean are actually the seed pod of a fruit, eg, a nut, and, if unfermented, can be difficult for the human digestive system to break down due to the beans having a high phytic acid level which inhibits the uptake of alkaline minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.

Phytic acid not only holds on to or chelates important minerals, but also inhibits enzymes that we need to digest our food.

Fermentation activates enzymes in the beans so the cacao beans are activated similar to the activated nuts that we supply.

Fermentation improves digestibility of the beans and increases nutrient availability while also reducing bitterness.

Fermentation does however lead to loss of antioxidants & anandamides so Loving Earth cacao beans are lightly fermented which renders them higher in health promoting antioxidant nutrients than fully fermented beans.