Friday, April 17, 2009

Composition of Cocoa Beans

Composition of Cocoa Beans
The general composition of cocoa beans from various sources is similar.

With properly fermented mature beans the variations is relatively small but immature, badly fermented and sometimes intermediate beans have higher shell and lower cocoa butter contents.

The available nib content and hence the cocoa butter, is the factor that should be used to compare the real values of different consignments of beans.

The cleanliness of the outer shell affects the ash content and the microbial counts.

The shell is virtually a waste material as far as the manufacture of cocoa and chocolate is concerned.

Cocoa butter, the natural fat of the nib, is the most costly constituent, although at times powdered cocoa has attained a high value, especially for the manufacture of coatings.

The quality of cocoa beans is determined by the “cut test”, together with flavor of the chocolate made from the beans.

The alkaloid constituents of the cocoa beans, theobromine and caffeine, have been subjects of considerable publicity of recent years because of their supposed connection with migraine, hypertension, and other health problems.
Composition of Cocoa Beans
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