Food and Bioprocess Technology

, Volume 5, Issue 7, pp 2908–2920 | Cite as

Bioactive and Sensory Properties of Herbal Spirit Enriched with Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Polyphenolics

  • Draženka KomesEmail author
  • Ana Belščak-Cvitanović
  • Dunja Horžić
  • Helena Drmić
  • Svjetlana Škrabal
  • Borislav Miličević
Original Paper


In the Southeast European and Mediterranean regions, consumption of various alcoholic beverages in the form of plain and aromatized spirits and liqueurs is an important part of traditional local gastronomy. Especially herbal spirits and liquors are widely spread and consumed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of using cocoa raw materials (cocoa beans, cocoa nibs or cocoa liquor) in order to enhance the bioactive profile of traditional herbal liqueur, and to produce an appealing cocoa-flavoured alcoholic beverage. Therefore, the polyphenolic profile, antioxidative and sensory properties of herbal liquors containing the macerated cocoa raw materials were monitored during 6 months, in order to evaluate the kinetics of cocoa polyphenols release and optimise the maceration procedure for obtaining the best cocoa-enriched herbal spirit. Compared to plain herbal liquor without the additions, the obtained herbal liqueurs exhibited significantly higher content of polyphenolic antioxidants. Among the used cocoa raw materials for the maceration, cocoa nibs were evaluated as the best source of polyphenolic compounds (herbal liqueur containing cocoa nibs, 3,081.82 mg GAE/L), followed by cocoa liquor (1,897.73 mg GAE/L) and cocoa beans (1,358.64 mg GAE/L). Prolonged maceration time (up to 6 months) resulted with an increase in the content of polyphenolic compounds and the antioxidant capacity of herbal liqueurs. Herbal liqueurs containing the cocoa raw materials of bigger particle size (cocoa beans and cocoa nibs) exhibited better sensory properties (overall acceptability and chocolate-like flavour) than herbal liqueur containing cocoa liquor.


Antioxidant capacity Cocoa Herbal liquor Polyphenols Sensory analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Draženka Komes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana Belščak-Cvitanović
    • 1
  • Dunja Horžić
    • 1
  • Helena Drmić
    • 1
  • Svjetlana Škrabal
    • 2
  • Borislav Miličević
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Food Engineering, Faculty of Food Technology and BiotechnologyUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Zvečevo Food IndustryPožegaCroatia

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