One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bitter, volatile compound obtained from cacao seeds. It is an alkaloid resembling caffeine in its physiological effects.
Chemical formula: C₇H₈N₄O₂
- ‘There is no caffeine in chocolate, though a related compound, theobromine, is present.’
- ‘The chocolate loved by humans is made from cocoa beans and contains a chemical called theobromine which, in high concentrations, can affect a dog's heart, lungs and central nervous system.’
- ‘Caffeine and theobromine are two naturally occurring alkaloids that are present in plants used to brew beverages in many cultures.’
- ‘Using a machine called a mass spectrometer, Hurst identified the compound theobromine in some of that residue.’
- ‘Alkaloids have been described as components of plant defence responses and the two main alkaloids found in cocoa are caffeine and theobromine.’
- ‘Cocoa contains theobromine, an alkaloid that penetrates the skin to the subcutaneous fat layer and may help stimulate the release of stored fat.’
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Theobroma (genus name, from Greek theos ‘god’ and brōma ‘food’) + -ine.
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