Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Cocoa flavor

Cocoa makes a unique contribution to the flavor of chocolate. Flavor is one of the most significant consumer parameters and an essential attribute of cocoa quality. Approximately 4.8 million tons of cocoa are produced annually and consumed in a variety of products, for example in beverages, baked goods, ice cream and, most commonly, as chocolate confectionery.

The specific cocoa aroma arises from complex biochemical and chemical reactions during the postharvest processing of raw beans, and from many influences of the cocoa genotype, chemical make-up of raw seeds, environmental conditions, farming practices, processing, and manufacturing stages.

Various chemical components from raw cocoa beans participate in the formation of specific cocoa flavors by changes occurring during processing. These components are alkaloids (methylxanthines), polyphenols, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Major contributions to the bitterness of cocoa come from the xanthines, caffeine and theobromine.

Cocoa seeds are a rich source of polyphenols (about 15% of dry bean weight) similar to wine, tea, or vegetables. They are stored in the so-called polyphenolic cells, a type of parenchyma cells from cotyledons.

The formation of flavor precursors, reduction in bitterness and astringency, as well as the development of color, are initiated during fermentation.

The full flavor of cocoa is necessarily a combination of taste and aroma. The basic taste sensations of cocoa are acidity, bitterness and astringency.

The beans are roasted to develop cocoa flavor, shelled and then ground to a fine homogenous mass called cocoa liquor, which is the basic starting material of all chocolate processes. This material may be treated with alkali and then pressed to give cocoa butter and cocoa press cake, which is subsequently milled to give cocoa powder. Many factors are involved in these processes and they can impart an enormous variability to cocoa flavor and quality.
Cocoa flavor

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SAF-DYNAMICS of Food Science and Technology