Solving the problem of large quantities of organic waste, which represents an enormous ecological and financial burden for all aspects of the process industry, is a necessity. Therefore, there is an emerged need to find specific solutions to utilize raw materials as efficiently as possible in the production process. The cocoa shell is a valuable by-product obtained from the chocolate industry. It is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and ash, as well as in some other valuable bioactive compounds, such as methylxanthines and phenolics. This paper gives an overview of published results related to the cocoa shell, mostly on important bioactive compounds and possible applications of the cocoa shell in different areas. The cocoa shell, due to its nutritional value and high-value bioactive compounds, could become a desirable raw material in a large spectrum of functional, pharmaceutical, or cosmetic products, as well as in the production of energy or biofuels in the near future.
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Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).