Theobromine facts for kids

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Theobromin - Theobromine
Structure of theobromine

Theobromine is a chemical substance, also known as xantheose It is an alkaloid. It occurs in the cacao plant. Chemically, it is very similar to caffeine. Because the cacao plant is used to make chocolate it also found in chocolate. Despite its name, there is no bromine in it – theobromine comes from Theobroma, the name of the genus of the cacao tree, (which itself is made up of the Greek roots theo ("God") and brosi ("food"), meaning "food of the gods") with the suffix -ine given to alkaloids and other basic nitrogen-containing compounds.

Theobromine is a water insoluble, crystalline, bitter powder. It colour is listed as either white or colourless. It has a similar, but lesser, effect to caffeine, making it a lesser homologue. Theobromine is an isomer of theophylline as well as paraxanthine. Theobromine is categorized as a dimethyl xanthine, which means it is a xanthine with two methyl groups.

Theobromine was first isolated from the seeds of the cacao tree in 1878 and then shortly afterwards was synthesized from xanthine by Hermann Emil Fischer.

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