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Effect of storage management on free fatty acid content in dry cocoa beans

William, A. Jonfia-Essien, W. A.1 and Navarro, S.2

1. Research Department of Quality Control Company Ltd. of Ghana Cocoa Board, Tema, Ghana.
2. Food Technology International Consultancy Ltd., Beit Yehoshua 40591, Israel
Received: October 09, 2010 / Accepted: December 07, 2010 / Published: April 30, 2012.

Abstract: The free fatty acid (FFA) content in dry cocoa beans is expected to be less than 1.0% to meet the acceptable level of 1.75% in cocoa butter. This study therefore investigates the impact of insect infestation on FFA formation in raw cocoa beans in storage from Ghana and Cפte d’Ivoire. Hence, the effect of storage management on FFA content in dry cocoa beans is very important. The effect of insect infestation on FFA increases was evaluated by infesting dry cocoa beans with ten young adults of Lasioderma serricorne (Fabricus), Tribolium castaneum (Herbst), Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens) and stored for nine months under dry condition at 30 ± 2 °C. The FFA content of dry cocoa beans increases with storage time and this was evident for both countries. The mean FFA of Ghana’s cocoa beans was 2.03% in 1999 and 0.90% in 2008 while those of Cote d’Ivoire’s cocoa beans were 2.57% in 2002 and 1.43% in 2008. The means of moisture content of cocoa beans were 6.5% of Ghana and 8.0% of Cפte d’Ivoire, which might have influenced the differences in mean FFA levels. The mean FFA of the insect-infested dry cocoa beans increased from 0.76% at the time of storage to 1.81% after nine months of storage. However, in the control it increased from 0.79% to 0.93% over the storage period. It could therefore be inferred conclusively that FFA content in dry cocoa beans increases with insect infestation.

Key words: Cocoa beans, free fatty acid, storage management, quality preservation, insect infestation.

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