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Fine cocoa beans production: Tracking aroma precursors through a comprehensive analysis of flavor attributes formation

Escobar S., Santander Muñoz M., Zuluaga M., Chacón I., Rodríguez J., Vaillant F.. 2021. Food Chemistry, 365 : 11 p..

DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2021.130627

The fine flavor cocoa (FFC) market offers cocoa farmers better monetary and nonmonetary benefits than the bulk market. In this work, during cocoa fermentation, flavor formation was studied at different fermentation times based on sensory profiles, volatile compound contents and untargeted metabolomics. It was observed that chocolate quality is influenced by fermentation time. Thus, at 72 h, the sensory profiles showed no outstanding attributes, while at 96 h, the global quality presented a stronger influence of fine attributes, such as fruitiness, florality, spices and nuttiness. Finally, at 120/144 h, these FFC features diminished. Metabolomic fingerprint of cocoa beans (related to peptides, sugars, amino acids, and phenolic compounds) and the volatile fingerprint of chocolate showed a change according to the fermentation time. This allowed the proposal of 96 h as the optimal fermentation time to produce FFC beans. Additionally, 20 volatiles and 48 discriminating metabolites were defined as potential quality biomarkers.

Mots-clés : composé de la flaveur; flaveur; fève de cacao; fermentation; qualité des aliments

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