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Cocoa Quality Index. A proposal

Araujo Q.R., Fernandes C.L.F., Ribeiro D.L., Efraim P., Steinmacher D., Lieberei R., Bastide P., Araujo T.G.. 2014. Food Control, 46 : p. 49-54.

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodcont.2014.05.003

The definition of food quality has varied over time but has evolved so that current definitions are based on meeting customer demands. However, in order to better define food quality a more comprehensive evaluation based in key variables is required. This study aims to propose a Cocoa Quality Index (CQI). A better understanding of what affects cocoa quality will allow researchers and managers to improve their product, benefiting producers and consumers. The present analysis was based on known desired characteristics of the cocoa bean. Total fat, total acidity, total phenols, phenolic acids, organic acids, heavy metals, amino acids, caffeine, theobromine, pH, sugars and macro and micronutrients were the main variables included in the CQI for the Forastero cocoa beans. The analysis was run on beans from two separate sites in Bahia, an Oxisol and an Alfisol. CQI values from the two sites did not differ statistically, but the adopted qualitative classification identified that the Alfisol had a 'good' CQI (0.703) while the Oxisol was classified as 'regular' one (CQI = 0.652). The difference was due to the better edaphic characteristics of the Alfisol. Results suggested that improving the cocoa bean in Bahia will require that total fat, phenolic compounds and glucose be increases and that total phenols, heavy metals, organic acids and caffeine be decreased. The proposed CQI method can be adapted to other agricultural products. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : fève de cacao; qualité; composition chimique; composition globale; santé; contrôle de qualité; commercialisation; bahia

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