Effect of spontaneous micro-fermentation on the physicochemical characteristics of Theobroma cacao L. beans


Biaani Beeu Martínez Valencia https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8466-823X
Jorge Eduardo Carrizales Mérida
Juan Francisco Caballero Pérez
José Luis Solís Bonilla https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6691-7258


color, quality, small scale.


Objective: To evaluate the physicochemical characteristics of cacao beans during the spontaneous fermentation process in tepemixtle wooden boxes of three different sizes.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Trinitarian-type cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) fruits were collected in a commercial orchard. The beans were fermented in boxes with the following operating conditions: volume of cacao with pulp, box size, a six-day period, and uncontrolled temperature and pH. The experiments were carried out in triplicate and an analysis of variance and a multiple comparison of means were performed with the Tukey test (p<0.05) using the R program.

Results: The parameters evaluated had the same behavior in the 4 kg box than in the 25 kg box and the 60 kg box, which indicates that the physicochemical and quality characteristics of cacao beans are not impacted by the decrease in the box size. Therefore, smaller boxes are viable for small-scale fermentations.

Study Limitations/Implications: Only cacao beans from the Trinitarian genetic group were evaluated.

Findings/Conclusions: Small-scale fermentations can be an option for the evaluation of varieties when the beans must be fermented for the sensory analysis of their qualitative attributes. This micro-fermentation methodology can also be incorporated into genetic improvement programs or the evaluation of the processes aimed at their optimization.

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