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J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Jun 5;50(12):3527-32.

Chemical composition and flavor of ecuadorian cocoa liquor.

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Department of Plant Science, Nestlé Research Center Tours, 101 Avenue G. Eiffel, Notre Dame d'Oé, B.P. 9716, 37097 Tours Cedex 2, France.


The contribution of the chemical composition to the flavor of cocoa liquor from an Ecuadorian selfed population of clone EET 95 was investigated. Polyphenols, purine alkaloids, organic acids, and sugars were quantified, and the key sensory characteristics of cocoa were scored by a trained panel. Despite the short bean fermentation (2 days) commonly used for Arriba cocoa, acetic acid content was closely correlated to liquor pH, demonstrating its essential role in cocoa liquor acidification. Polyphenols were positively correlated to astringency, bitterness, and the green note and negatively correlated to the fruity character. Alkaloid and polyphenol levels fluctuated significantly within the selfed progeny and tended to be lower than those of the heterozygous clone EET 95 (inbreeding effect). These results support the idea that polyphenols might be essential to the overall perception of cocoa liquor characteristics and indicate that the composition and the sensory quality of cocoa liquor are the result of both a genotypic contribution and the conditions of fermentation and roasting.

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