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Fast discrimination of chocolate quality based on average-mass-spectra fingerprints of cocoa polyphenols

Fayeulle N., Meudec E., Boulet J.C., Vallverdu-Queralt A., Hue C., Boulanger R., Cheynier V., Sommerer N.. 2019. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 67 (9) : p. 2723-2731.

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b06456

This work aims to sort cocoa beans according to chocolate sensory quality and phenolic composition. Prior to the study, cocoa samples were processed into chocolate in a standard manner, and then the chocolate was characterized by sensory analysis, allowing sorting of the samples into four sensory groups. Two objectives were set: first to use average mass spectra as quick cocoa-polyphenol-extract fingerprints and second to use those fingerprints and chemometrics to select the molecules that discriminate chocolate sensory groups. Sixteen cocoa polyphenol extracts were analyzed by liquid chromatography¿low-resolution mass spectrometry. Averaging each mass spectrum provided polyphenolic fingerprints, which were combined into a matrix and processed with chemometrics to select the most meaningful molecules for discrimination of the chocolate sensory groups. Forty-four additional cocoa samples were used to validate the previous results. The fingerprinting method proved to be quick and efficient, and the chemometrics highlighted 29 m/z signals of known and unknown molecules, mainly flavan-3-ols, enabling sensory-group discrimination.

Mots-clés : theobroma cacao; chocolat; composition chimique; polyphénol; hplc; flaveur

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