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Abstract

Cocoa makes a unique contribution to the flavour of chocolate. Cocoaspecific flavour is thought to reside largely in the volatile aroma fraction: the complex composition of this fraction is the consequence of several important post-harvesting operations. Pod ripeness at time of harvest and post-harvesting pod storage can both significantly affect the course of the fermentation stage and, ultimately, the flavour of the cocoa. Cocoa fermentation is crucial not only for the primary production of important flavour volatiles but also for the formation of many nonvolatile chemicals, the so-called cocoa flavour precursor. Bean drying is performed to minimize growth of moulds, to reduce levels of volatile and nonvolatile acids within the bean and to reduce astringency by promoting tanning reactions. Finally, cocoa roasting converts the flavour precursors formed during fermentation into two main classes of flavour-active compounds, aldehydes and pyrazines, via a series of complex chemical reactions, thus completing the spectrum of chemical compounds that comprise cocoa flavour.

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© 1994 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

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Baigrie, B.D. (1994). Cocoa flavour. In: Piggott, J.R., Paterson, A. (eds) Understanding Natural Flavors. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-2143-3_17

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4615-2143-3_17

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