• 1 Universiti Putra Malaysia
  • 2 Kota Kinabalu Industrial Park
Trop Life Sci Res, 2016;27(1):21-42.


Plants have been a good source of therapeutic agents for thousands of years;
an impressive number of modern drugs used for treating human diseases are derived from
natural sources. The Theobroma cacao tree, or cocoa, has recently garnered increasing
attention and become the subject of research due to its antioxidant properties, which are
related to potential anti-cancer effects. In the past few years, identifying and developing
active compounds or extracts from the cocoa bean that might exert anti-cancer effects
have become an important area of health- and biomedicine-related research. This review
provides an updated overview of T. cacao in terms of its potential anti-cancer compounds
and their extraction, in vitro bioassay, purification, and identification. This article also
discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques described and reviews the
processes for future perspectives of analytical methods from the viewpoint of anti-cancer
compound discovery.