Corazon P. Remitar1 and Alminda Magbalot-Fernandez2*
The study aimed to determine the influence of basket fermentation on the quality of cocoa beans with various quantities and duration of fermentation. Proper fermentation and drying removes all unpleasant flavours and starts the chemical changes necessary to produce the true cocoa and chocolate flavours that emerge after roasting. Basket fermentation offers a cheap practical method for small-scale farmers to process their cocoa beans. This study was conducted to determine the effect of basket fermentation on the quality of cacao beans using different quantities of beans and duration of fermentation. This was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design with ten (10) treatments each with three (3) replications. Data gathered were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Means of significant results were compared using Tukey’s Honest Significance Difference (HSD) Test.
The results revealed significant differences on the quality of processed cacao beans in terms of percentage of fully fermented beans, under-fermented beans, slaty beans, moldy beans, defective beans, pH and titratable acidity. The ideal quality, grade 1A, was attained after 5 days with 25kg and 50kg of cocoa beans per basket and 7 days duration with 50kg of cocoa beans. In addition, flavour attributes are dependent on the duration and quantity of cocoa beans in basket fermentation. The study shows significant results on the sensory evaluation of the chocolate and bitterness flavour attributes. However, the quantity and duration of basket fermentation does not influence the sourness and astringency of the cocoa liquor. Fermentation for five (5) days with fifty (50) kg cocoa beans was found to be the most profitable treatment.
Keywords: Cacao, basket fermentation, duration, fermentation, physical quality, sensory evaluation