The delicious stuff loses some of its nutritious components during this process, such as polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that have been shown to help stave off cancer and heart disease. To preserve more antioxidant activity, the researchers decided to add one extra step to the chocolate production process: storing the pods for a few days after they're harvested but before removing the seeds to be fermented and dried. This isn't traditionally done, and they didn't know what effect this step would have on the nutritional content, so the researchers tested different storage times for 300 pods. They found that the ideal storage time was seven days; when the seeds were then processed as usual after that storage time, they maintained more antioxidants than seeds that were not stored or were stored for more time. The researchers believe that the stored beans were higher in antioxidants because they had the time to absorb more nutrients from their outer husks, but not so much time that they started to break down.