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Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 1995 Oct;48(3):217-23.

Nutrient and antinutrient profiles of raw and fermented cocoa beans.

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Department of Biochemistry, College of Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Nigeria.


Freshly harvested cocoa bean was subjected to natural fermentation for 3, 6, 9 or 12 days. The proximate, mineral, hydrocyanate (HCN), oxalate and theobromine levels in the products were determined and compared with those of raw (unfermented) cocoa. The latter sample had the following composition: protein (N x 6.25), 17.5; lipid, 62.9; ash, 4.4; fibre, 5.9; and nitrogen-free extract (NFE), 9.3% dry matter. The effect of fermentation was variable, depending on duration and the nutrient under consideration. At day 3, protein content (17.6) was not different, but at day 6 (19.8) was higher (p <0.01), while days 9 and 12 (14.6 and 15.2, respectively) were lower (p <0.01) in comparison with the raw value. Inorganic P steadily decreased from 201.0 (raw) to 102.0 mg/100 g dry matter (day 12) but only the days 9 and 12 values were significantly different (p <O.O5), whereas Ca increased from 29.2 (raw) up to 60.4 mg/100 g dry matter (day 3). The antinutrients, HCN, oxalate, and theobromine decreased with increasing duration of fermentation. The decreases for days 6, 9 and 12 were significant (p <0.05). The results are discussed with regard to optimization of the duration of cocoa fermentation for improved nutrient profile.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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