Food Analytical Methods

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1510–1517 | Cite as

Quality Control of Commercial Cocoa Beans (Theobroma cacao L.) by Near-infrared Spectroscopy

  • Juliana C. Hashimoto
  • Jéssica C. Lima
  • Renata M. S. Celeghini
  • Alessandra B. Nogueira
  • Priscilla Efraim
  • Ronei J. Poppi
  • Juliana A. L. Pallone


This work presents the use of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy as a fast and eco-friendly alternative to the conventional methods currently used for the quality control of cocoa beans. A key feature of this study was that the multivariate calibration models were built from the spectra of 81 samples of commercial cocoa beans from different producing regions and sampled over the period of 1 year. This aspect is crucial to demonstrate the feasibility of NIR for predicting chemical parameters of cocoa beans, since it provides a realistic variability in the calibration models. PLS regression models were constructed from the near-infrared diffuse reflectance spectra, allowing the prediction of moisture, pH, acidity, fat, shell content, protein, total phenolic compounds, caffeine, and theobromine through direct analysis of samples milled and sieved without any additional preparation. All of these parameters were predicted with adequate coefficient of determination values (R2), which ranged from 0.67 to 0.89 and relative errors smaller than 10.2%, which is quite suitable when compared to the coefficients of variation of the reference methods. Thus, the results demonstrated that the use of NIR combined with chemometrics is effective and recommended for the quality control of commercial cocoa beans.


Chemometrics Cocoa beans Cocoa quality Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy Partial least squares (PLS) regression 



The authors thank FAPESP (São Paulo Research Foundation) and CNPq (Brazilian National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development) for the financial support.


This study was funded by FAPESP—São Paulo Research Foundation (grant number 2012/00206-5).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Juliana C. Hashimoto declares that she has no conflict of interest. Jéssica C. lima declares that she has no conflict of interest. Renata M. S. Celeghini declares that she has no conflict of interest. Alessandra B. Nogueira declares that she has no conflict of interest. Priscilla Efraim declares that she has no conflict of interest. Ronei J. Poppi declares that he has no conflict of interest. Juliana A. L. Pallone declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juliana C. Hashimoto
    • 1
  • Jéssica C. Lima
    • 1
  • Renata M. S. Celeghini
    • 1
  • Alessandra B. Nogueira
    • 2
  • Priscilla Efraim
    • 1
  • Ronei J. Poppi
    • 3
  • Juliana A. L. Pallone
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Food EngineeringUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  2. 2.Faculty of ChemistryPontifical Catholic University of CampinasCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Institute of ChemistryUniversity of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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