Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Cocoa beans: Pod and seed

The cacao fruit or pod is melon - shaped (12 – 30 cm long and 8 – 12 cm wide) with an average weight of 400 – 600 g.

The pod shaped fruit is botanically classified as baccate-like (berry-like) and each pod produces approximately 35-50 seeds surrounded by a sweet pulp. Cocoa shells, which is enclosed the cocoa seeds is endocarp and must be removed after roasting process to obtain the cocoa nibs.

The seeds have a reddish brown external color and a dark brown interior owing to their rich polyphenolic content. Cocoa seeds consist of two large storage cotyledons and an embryo axis enclosed by a hardened but flexible seed shell.

The storage components in the cotyledons comprise 50 % fat, 15 % phenolics, 12 % protein, 5 % starch and 2 % sucrose on a dry weight base.

The pulp is aromatic and mucilaginous, composed of spongy parenchymatous cells that contain a sap rich in carbohydrates.
Cocoa beans: Pod and seed

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