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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 occurs 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.
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- Bennett, Alan Weinberg; Bonnie K. Bealer (2002). The World of Caffeine: The Science and Culture of the World's Most Popular Drug. Routledge, New York. ISBN 0415927234. (note: the book incorrectly notes that the name "Theobroma" is derived from Latin)
- "-ine." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company. 2004. ISBN 0395711460. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/-ine.
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- "Dimethyl". On-Line Medical Dictionary. http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/cgi-bin/omd?dimethyl. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
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