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Arch Latinoam Nutr. 1983 Jun;33(2):339-55.

[Effect of the harvest season on the composition of raw and fermented cotyledons of 2 varieties of cacao and shell fractions].

[Article in Spanish]


A study was carried out wherein during the period August 1979 to January 1980, samples of raw and fermented cacao were analyzed monthly. These included two varieties: Arriba, taken from a farm in "Quevedo", and the EET-19, grown in "Pichilingüe" by the Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP). Taking the ear of cacao as a basis, the weight of its main parts was determined. The proximal composition was established in the cotyledons, with significant statistical differences in regard to moisture, protein, and ether extract content according to the month of harvest. As to the fermentation process, differences in moisture, ether extract and ash content were detected; differences in the ether extract and ash content were found between the two varieties. The fat extracted from the cotyledons presented different iodine, saponification and acidity index values between the raw and fermented samples, but none were determined between the varieties; as far as the month of harvest is concerned, differences in the acidity index were observed. The percentage composition of the main fatty acids is reported (palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids). In order to suggest possible industrial ways of utilizing the cacao shell by-product which is discarded by the shelling machine, the chemical characteristics of five fractions were determined based on the functioning of the shelling machine. The moisture, protein, ether extract, ash, crude fiber, theobromine, and caffeine contents varied among the fractions, and it was dependent on the broken "nibs" content. Differences in the protein, ether extract, and ash content, according to the months of production, were found. Obviously, the high fat content in fractions A (fine dust) and B (fine ground), which varied from 30 to 11 g/100 g, merits its extraction; the remainder meal has a valuable protein and alkaloid content. The chemical characteristics of the fat extracted from the shell of two fractions were similar to the fat extracted from the cotyledons.

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