Cacao Nibs | Cocoa Nibs

Cacao Nibs are crushed cocoa beans

Cacao Nibs are Crushed Cocoa Beans

Cacao nibs also commonly called cocoa nibs are the seeds of the Theobroma Cacao tree. High quality cacao nibs are roasted and winnowed cocoa beans that have been crushed into small pieces for easy eating and use in recipes as a crunchy, no sugar topping and inclusion. A raw not processed or manufactured cacao product, cacao nibs retain the highest cocoa antioxidants and are touted as a delicious nut substitute due to their crunchy texture and pleasing chocolate flavor. 

Santa Barbara Chocolate randomly tests raw cacao for safety. We want to ensure the best flavor while giving you comfort knowing these Grade AA wholesale Cocoa Nibs are not of the average variety.

Cacao Nib the Sugar Free Chocolate Bit

An integral ingredient of both keto diets and paleo diets, cacao nibs are recognized for their natural benefits which include fiber, magnesium, potassium, iron and antioxidants. With no sugar, cacao is a super food perfect for adding to your smoothie. Due to the arginine amino acid content and solid dose of epicatechin, which is just like beets, cacao nibs can increase free flow nitric oxide content in your body for positive fitness results.

Theobroma Cacao is our Specialty

Theobroma cacao is the scientific name for the magical cacao tree from which we get this incredible superfood. Theobroma cacao translates from the botanical description and Greek name to English as "Food of the Gods". Santa Barbara Chocolate is the chocolate company that specializes exclusively in all things cacao. We are a niche market manufacturer that is not involved in other types of food, but rather only one food, The Food of the Gods. Because of this specialization in cacao, we can concentrate on doing one thing right and not be distracted. We test, we study, we know chocolate. No other company selling cacao products is going to give you the same safety margin and great flavor. Want to know more about the word "chocolate" specifically? The etymology of chocolate as related to the word theobroma cacao can be found in our blog article link. 

Cathy is holding one of our cacao fruits that is filled with about 40 cocoa beans, the secret chocolate seed that makes cacao nibs and chocolate.


Theobroma Cacao is shown below. The red fruit has cacao seeds inside.


This image below shows botanically the cacao fruit and the rows of seeds inside the fruit. These seeds are fermented for a specific amount of time which creates the chocolate flavor we all recognize. Without fermentation the seeds have a bitter, alkaline tasting experience similar to green lima beans. Fermentation when handled properly can help enhance antioxidant value. This is why it is so important to buy from a trusted source that audits the processes, a real chocolate company that knows chocolate and all of the magic. Fermentation can also have an affect on the overall quality because if fermentation is too short or too long it will make the cacao beans acidic with a "wet" like taste. proper fermentation will offer a subtle chocolate flavor along with the nuances cacao is famous for having like fruitiness, floral notes and spice. 


Cocoa beans are graded based on several factors including size, fermentation time, and moisture. We choose cocoa beans that are clean and have no signs of mold or botanical imperfections that would suggest they were harvested from less than perfect fruit. Below shows the size grading of cocoa beans.


When the fermented cocoa beans are delivered to the chocolate factory they arrive in large bags.  The cocoa beans are inspected and cleaned again, minimally roasted, winnowed to remove the outer cacao skin (the skin should not be eaten). Clean after winnowing, the cacao is cracked and crushed to become cacao nibs.





Cacao Nibs | Cocoa Nibs

Roasted Pieces



Cacao nibs (cocoa nibs).

Product Characteristics
Impurities/foreign bodies: <0.01% Sieve Fraction 2.8 - 3.7 mm
Chemical Limits Method
Moisture ≤ 3% IOCCC1(1952)
Total fat content 52.6 - 56.5% IOCCC14(1972)
pH ≤ 6.0 IOCCC15(1972)
Shells on alkali free nibs ≤ 1.75% Winnower Control
Ashes (fat free dry matter) ≤ 10.00% IOCCC16(1973)
Microbiological Limits Method
Total plate count (CC) ≤ 5,000/g ISO4833
Yeasts ≤ 50/g ISO7954
Molds ≤ 50/g ISO7954
Enterobacteriaceae ≤ 10/g ISO21528-2
Coliforms ≤ 10/g ISO4832
E. coli Absent/g ISO16649-2
Salmonella Absent/25 g ISO6579
Recommended Storing Conditions
54 - 68°F; relative humidity ≤ 70%, in odor free atmosphere.
Shelf Life
Best used within 24 months.
Nutritional Information on Average for 3.53 oz (100 g)
Calories 517 kcal Calories from fat 456 kcal
Calories 2,163 kJ    
Total protein 11.7 g Milk protein 0.0 g
Protein (DV) 23.4%    
Total carbohydrates 29.6 g Sugars (mono + disaccharides) 0.3 g
Total carbohydrates (DV) 9.9%  Polyols 0.0 g
    Polydextrose 0.00 g
    Starch 5.2 g
Total fat 54.5 g Saturated fatty acid 32.8 g
Total fat (DV) 83.8% Saturated fatty acid (DV) 163.8%
    Mono unsaturated fatty acid 17.7 g
    Poly unsaturated fatty acid 1.6 g
    Trans fatty acid (TFA) total 0.0 g
    Cholesterol 0.0 mg
    Cholesterol (DV) 0.0%
Organic acids 1.50 g Dietary fiber 18.5 g
    Dietary fiber (DV) 74.0%
Total alkaloids 1.19 g Alcohol 0.00 g
Poly hydroxyphenols 2.90 g Vitamin A - Retinol 21.500 µg
    Vitamin A (DV) 1.4%
    Vitamin A (IU) 72
    Provitamin A - Beta-Caotene 0.000 µg
Vitamin B1 - Thiamin 0.200 mg Vitamin B2 - Riboflavin 0.200 mg
Vitamin B1 (DV) 13.3% Vitamin B2 (DV) 11.8%
Vitamin B3/PP - Niacin/Nicotin 1.500 mg Vitamin B5 - Pantoic Acid 0.800 mg
Vitamin B3 (DV) 7.5% Vitamin B5 (DV) 8.0%
Vitamin B6 - Pyridoxin 0.100 mg Vitamin B12 - Cyano-Cobalamine 0.000 µg
Vitamin B6 (DV) 5.0% Vitamin B12 (DV) 0.0%
Vitamin D - Calciferol 2.400 µg Vitamin E - Alpha-Tocopherol 4.300 mg
Vitamin D (DV) 24.0% Vitamin E (DV) 14.3%
Vitamin D (IU) 96 Vitamin E (IU) 6
Vitamin H - Biotin 0.000 mg Vitamin M - Folic Acid 21.500 µg
Vitamin H (DV) 0.0% Vitamin M (DV) 5.4%
Sodium 9.8 mg Vitamin C - L-Asorbic Acid 0.000 mg
Sodium (DV) 0.4% Vitamin C (DV) 0.0%
Phosphorus 375.7 mg Calcium 65.3 mg
Phosphorus (DV) 47.0% Calcium (DV) 6.5%
Iron 29.00 mg Magnesium 237.1 mg
Iron (DV) 161.1% Magnesium (DV) 59.3%
Zinc 3.30 mg Iodine 0.00 µg
Zinc (DV) 22.0% Iodine (DV) 0.0%
Chloride 18.30 mg Potassium 1,099.3 mg
Ash content 2.71 g Potassium (DV) 31.4%

*Nutrient content information is indicative of composition but not intended as definitive or complete. It is not intended for use in determining specific nutrient labeling values in finished products containing this ingredient as the responsibility for determining label information lies with the finished product manufacturer. Organic matter such as contained in products of this nature is subject to variation in nutritional composition. We disclaim any and all warranties, whether express or implied, including the implied warranty of merchantability. Our responsibility for claims arising from breach of warranty, negligence or any other cause shall not include consequential, special or incidental damages, even if we have been made aware of the possibility of such damages, and is limited to the purchase price of the product. None of the statements made herein shall be construed as a grant, either express or implied, of any license under any patent held by Santa Barbara Chocolate or other parties. 

Grade AA cocoa beans are rainforest harvested, fermented and low roast to ensure a delicate flavor and maximum cocoa antioxidants. Audited and tested for safety, Santa Barbara Chocolate uses the same high grade cacao to make nibs as we do in making our chocolate. We test for heavy metals and microbes and we are confident our crunchy nibs are an industry leader in quality.

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