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Chemical composition and physical quality characteristics of Ghanaian cocoa beans as affected by pulp pre-conditioning and fermentation

Abstract

Investigations were conducted to evaluate the effects of pod storage (as a means of pulp preconditioning) and fermentation on the chemical composition and physical characteristics of Ghanaian cocoa beans. A 4 × 2 full factorial design with factors as pod storage (0, 7, 14, 21 days) and cocoa treatment (fermented and unfermented) were conducted. Samples were analyzed for their chemical composition (moisture, crude fat, crude protein, ash and carbohydrate content) and mineral content using standard analytical methods. The physical qualities of the beans were analyzed for their proportions of cocoa nibs, shells and germ. Fermentation and increasing pod storage resulted in significant (P < 0.05) decreases in ash (3.48–2.92%), protein (21.63–17.62%) and fat (55.21–50.40%) content of the beans while carbohydrate content increased from 15.47% to 24.93% with both treatments. As well, increasing pod storage and fermentation significantly (P < 0.05) increased the copper content of the beans from while reductions in Mg and K occurred. Amongst the minerals studied, potassium was the most abundant mineral followed by magnesium, phosphorus and calcium in the fermented cocoa beans. Proportion of cocoa nibs also increased from with increasing pod storage and fermentation whiles reductions in shell content and no appreciable changes in germ proportions were noted.

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Acknowledgment

The authors want to thank the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana, Tafo, Eastern Region, Ghana for providing the cocoa pods used in research study.

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Correspondence to Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa.

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Afoakwa, E.O., Quao, J., Takrama, J. et al. Chemical composition and physical quality characteristics of Ghanaian cocoa beans as affected by pulp pre-conditioning and fermentation. J Food Sci Technol 50, 1097–1105 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-011-0446-5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13197-011-0446-5

Keywords

  • Theobroma cacao
  • Pod storage
  • Forastero
  • Fermentation
  • Chemical composition
  • Physical quality