Roasting cocoa beans lessens bitterness which boosts chocolate liking: Study

penAccording to new research led by the Department of Food Science, roasting cocoa beans at high temperatures can reduce bitterness and optimize flavor that may be acceptable to health-conscious people.

The study was published in the journal ‘Current Research in Food Science’. The study involved 27 100 percent-chocolate preparations made from cocoa beans roasted at various intensities and 145 people who visited the center for five consecutive days, evaluating five different samples each day.

The research confirmed that bitterness and astringency were negatively correlated with consumer preference, and demonstrated that those qualities in chocolate can be reduced through optimization of roasting, said research team member Helen Hopper, College of Agricultural Sciences. According to the Rasmussen Career Development Professor in Food Science at.

“More and more people these days are eating dark chocolate with less sugar and more cocoa because they are trying to reduce sugar intake or they want to take advantage of the purported health benefits,” said Helen Hofer.

“Dark chocolate is particularly high in flavonoids, specifically a subtype called flavan-3 and their oligomers, which are all considered functional elements because of their associated health effects,” she said.

However, unsweetened chocolate is too bitter for most people to enjoy, so the researchers experimented with the roasting treatment to modify the taste — more scrutinized by original tastes like sour and bitter — to make it more acceptable to consumers. In the making, Hofer explained.

For the study, research team member Alan McClure, founder of craft chocolate company Patrick’s Chocolate and related consultancy Patrick Food & Beverage Development, partnered with Hopper and Penn State to characterize the taste and acceptability of chocolate.

As part of his doctoral degree dissertation, McClure chose cacao beans from three origins – Madagascar, Ghana and Peru, which were harvested in 2018 and 2019. He roasted and ground all samples in cocoa liquor at his factory in Columbia, Missouri, and then shipped. Penn State solidified 100% of the chocolate, where he and Hofer melted and divided the chocolate into small discs for sensory evaluation.

McClure found the study participants’ responses to their 27 100% chocolate preparations particularly interesting, and suggested that what they learned from this research would guide them, and help employees at other chocolate manufacturing companies design future products as a single. Will guide in making through increased scientific understanding. The complex changes that result from roasting cocoa.

In the findings, published in Current Research in Food Science, the researchers reported that more intense roasting conditions — such as 20 minutes at 340 degrees Fahrenheit, 80 minutes at 275 F, and 54 minutes at 304 F — did not all find chocolate consumers to find sweeter chocolate. most acceptable. In contrast, research participants did not find 100 percent chocolate acceptable when made from raw or lightly roasted cocoa, such as beans roasted 11 minutes at 221 F, or 55 minutes at 147 F.


First published:February 25, 2022, 5:57 pm

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