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Antioxidant Capacity and Potential Health Benefits of Commercially Available Chocolate Drinks

Chloe Sloop
Chloe Sloop
Faculty Advisor(s)

Several health conditions and diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and polycystic ovary syndrome have been linked to oxidative damage caused by increased radical activity within the body. Antioxidants are stable, bioactive compounds that can neutralize the radicals they come into contact with, reducing the capacity of radicals to damage cellular structures. While existing evidence demonstrates the antiradical effects of dark chocolate, less is known about the antioxidant properties of chocolate drinks. This study aimed to explore the antioxidant capacity of various commercial chocolate milk and mix samples using an antiradical assay. We predicted that chocolate drink samples would have greater scavenging activity and higher percent changes in absorbance compared to their non-chocolate counterparts. We found that radical solutions containing Silk® Dark Chocolate Almond Milk, Swiss Miss® Dark Chocolate Flavored Hot Cocoa Mix, and Maola® Rich Chocolate Reduced Fat 2% Milk all had greater decreases in absorbance over 15 minutes compared to their non-chocolate counterparts. This indicates that the antioxidant capacity of chocolate drinks is higher than non-chocolate drinks in several commercially available beverages. It is predicted that the presence of polyphenols in cocoa may be responsible for the increased antioxidant activity and potential health benefits of chocolate drinks.


Chloe Sloop is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in both Biochemistry and Health Science. While at Salem, she has been a member of the College Honors program, a Quest tutor, and a Marshal of the College. She plans to continue her science education by pursuing a graduate degree in a health-related field.