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Dark chocolate acceptability: influence of cocoa origin and processing conditions

Torres‐Moreno, Miriam, Tarrega, Amparo, Costell, Elvira, Blanch, Consol
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2012 v.92 no.2 pp. 404-411
chocolate, cocoa beans, color, consumer acceptance, flavor, manufacturing, markets, odors, roasting, texture, Ecuador, Ghana
BACKGROUND: Chocolate properties can vary depending on cocoa origin, composition and manufacturing procedure, which affect consumer acceptability. The aim of this work was to study the effect of two cocoa origins (Ghana and Ecuador) and two processing conditions (roasting time and conching time) on dark chocolate acceptability. RESULTS: Overall acceptability and acceptability for different attributes (colour, flavour, odour and texture) were evaluated by 95 consumers. Differences in acceptability among dark chocolates were mainly related to differences in flavour acceptability. The use of a long roasting time lowered chocolate acceptability in Ghanaian samples while it had no effect on acceptability of Ecuadorian chocolates. This response was observed for most consumers (two subgroups with different frequency consumption of dark chocolate). However, for a third group of consumers identified as distinguishers, the most acceptable dark chocolate samples were those produced with specific combinations of roasting time and conching time for each of the cocoa geographical origin considered. CONCLUSION: To produce dark chocolates from a single origin it is important to know the target market preferences and to select the appropriate roasting and conching conditions.