Evidence on the effect of the cocoa pulp flavour environment during fermentation on the flavour profile of chocolates

Eskes Albertus, Ahnert Dario, Garcia Carrion Luis, Seguine Edward, Assemat Sophie, Guarda D., Garcia R Patricia. 2012. Evidence on the effect of the cocoa pulp flavour environment during fermentation on the flavour profile of chocolates. In : 17th Conférence Internationale sur la Recherche Cacaoyère, Yaounde, Cameroun, 15 - 20 Octobre 2012. COPAL. s.l. : s.n., 20 p. Conférence Internationale sur la Recherche Cacaoyère. 17, Yaoundé, Cameroun, 15 October 2012/20 October 2012.

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Abstract : Empirical observations carried out by the first author during his many visits to cocoa producing countries suggested that a relationship might exist between cocoa pulp flavour attributes and sensory traits of cocoa liquor and chocolates. A first attempt to demonstrate such a relationship was made by evaluating the following flavour attributes: volatile aroma upon opening the pods, pulp sweetness, pulp acidity, pulp astringency, pulp flavour intensity and type, overall preference for pulp taste, and degree of bitterness of the cotyledon. Blind pulp tasting was carried out by a six-person panel of ripe fruits of nine cocoa clonal varieties, representing different genetic origins, several of which are well known for their contrasting sensory traits of their chocolates. Overall pulp preference was significantly related to the known fine flavour potential of the cocoa varieties tested, whereas specific pulp flavour attributes appeared related to specific types of fine flavour of the tested cocoa genotypes. One striking example was the EET 62 clone (Nacional x Trinitario), which displayed a "jasmine" flower odour upon opening the ripe fruit, sweet pulp with an intensive pleasant flavour that was identified as floral and fruity. These flavour attributes are apparently related to the known typical "Arriba" flavour of the EET62 clone. The typical fresh-fruit Trinitario cocoa flavour of the ICS 1 clone appeared to be related to a balanced combination of relatively high acidity and sweetness and a moderate citrus-like flavour of its pulp. On the other side, the pulp of the potentially low-flavour CCN51 clone was rated as very astringent and acid, with low flavour intensity and quality. The pulp of the Pandora 1 clone from Colombia was characterised by a sour sop (Guanabana) flavour and may therefore represent a new interesting type of fine-flavour cocoa. These results suggest that a significant part of fine-flavour attributes of cocoa products (excluding basic cocoa flavour) can be related to sensory traits identifiable in the pulp of ripe cocoa pods. The effect of the pulp flavour environment on the taste of chocolates was further experimentally demonstrated by adding equal quantities of aromatic pulp of two tropical fruit species (Theobroma grandiflorum and Anona muricata) with Amelonado beans during the fermentation process. The chocolates obtained by this method revealed the 2 presence of the typical flavour attributes of T. grandiflorum and A.muricata. This shows that the added aromatic compounds are absorbed by the cocoa cotyledon during the fermentation process. An amateur public in Montpellier, France, showed high levels of preference for the chocolates that had acquired flavours of T. grandiflorum and A. muricata in comparison to that of the pure Amelonado control treatment. The combined findings suggest that: 1) Rapid screening of germplasm and of breeding populations for pulp characteristics can be attempted to select cocoa varieties that display good potential for known as well as for new fine flavor traits, 2) Chocolate flavors can be modified substantially by adding aromatic substances to cocoa beans during the fermentation process. The further development of such an innovative way to produce cocoa liquors and chocolates with enhanced and/or modified flavour profiles is expected to have important commercial applications. It would also provide new opportunities for the use of aromatic tropical fruit pulps that are often under-utilized and under-valued. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : Q02 - Food processing and preservation
Q04 - Food composition

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Eskes Albertus, CIRAD-BIOS-UPR Bioagresseurs (FRA)
  • Ahnert Dario, Fazenda Boa Sorte (BRA)
  • Garcia Carrion Luis, Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva (PER)
  • Seguine Edward, Mars Chocolate North America (USA)
  • Assemat Sophie, CIRAD-PERSYST-UMR Qualisud (FRA)
  • Guarda D., Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva (PER)
  • Garcia R Patricia, Universidad Nacional Agraria de la Selva (PER)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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