Influence of Drying Methods on Primary Processing Techniques of Cocoa Beans Based on Free Fatty Acid Content
A systematic study was conducted to standardize the fermentation periods, methods and the performance of drying methods (natural sun drying and artificial oven drying) in the development of free fatty acid content in cocoa beans. Cocoa beans were subjected to different days of fermentation, starting with one day up to seven days and various fermentation methods (basket, heap and sack method). Heap method at seventh day of fermentation attained the best results with maximum per cent of fully fermented beans and lowest free fatty acid content (<1.75%). After fermentation, the cocoa beans were sun-dried and oven dried. The pH of sun dried beans ranged from 4.71 to 5.91, while that of oven dried beans was between 4.53 and 5.89. The sun dried beans contained higher moisture content than artificially oven dried beans and the bean recovery was also more in sun dried beans. The lipase activity prone to free fatty acid formation was higher in oven dried cocoa beans than sun dried beans. However the free fatty acid content was increased in both sun dried and oven dried cocoa beans (1.26 and 1.47%) compared to fermented cocoa beans, but it remains below the permissible limit of 1.75%.
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