Saturday, October 02, 2021

Cocoa seeds

Cocoa beans are the seeds, contained in a cucumber-like fruit, of the cacao tree. Each cocoa pod will contain around 20-30 seeds, embedded in a sweet pulp – these seeds are the cocoa beans.

The cocoa bean is greatly appreciated for its aroma and its nutrients (phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, potassium, selenium, vitamins B2 and B3). When fermented and dried, it contains 50 - 57 % lipids, 10 % proteins, 12 % fibres, 8 % carbohydrate (starch), approximately 5 % minerals, etc.

Cocoa seeds are surrounded by an aromatic pulp which arises from the seed teguments (technically an aril). The mucilaginous pulp is composed of spongy parenchymatous cells containing cell sap rich in sugars (10 to 13%), pentosans (2 to 3%), citric acid (1 to 2%), and salts (8 to 10%).

Ripe angiosperm seeds consist of embryo and endosperm or perisperm, which are surrounded by a maternal protection sheath, the seed coat.

The cocoa bean consists of the seed coat which encloses the cocoa kernel and almost solely consists of the two folded cotyledons, and the radicle. The cocoa kernel is the principal component for the production of cocoa products.

Seed coats are known to regulate the transfer of substances between the embryo and both the mother plant and the environment. The permeability of the seed coat of the fermenting seeds of Theobroma cacao may significantly affect its final flavour quality.
Cocoa seeds

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