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Color Characteristics of Dried Cocoa Using Shallow Box Fermentation Technique
Fermentation is well known as an essential process to develop chocolate flavor in dried cocoa beans. Besides developing the precursor of cocoa flavor, it also induces the color changes in the beans. The fermentation process is influenced by various factors such as planting material, preconditioning of cocoa pod and fermentation technique. Therefore, this study was conducted to evaluate color of Malaysian cocoa beans and how the duration of pods storage and fermentation technique using shallow box will effect on its color characteristics. There are two factors being studied i.e. duration of cocoa pod storage (0, 2, 4 and 6 days) and duration of cocoa fermentation (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days). The experiment is arranged in 4 x 6 factorial designs with 24 treatments and arrangement is in a Completely Randomised Design (CRD). The produced beans are inspected for color changes under artificial light during cut test and divided into four groups of color namely fully brown, purple brown, fully purple and slaty. Cut tests indicated that cocoa beans which are directly dried without undergone fermentation has the highest slaty percentage. However, application of pods storage before fermentation process is found to decrease the slaty percentage. In contrast, the percentages of fully brown beans start to dominate after two days of fermentation, especially from four and six days of pods storage batch. Whereas, almost all batches of cocoa beans have a percentage of fully purple less than 20%. Interestingly, the percentage of purple brown beans are scattered in the entire beans batch regardless any specific trend. Meanwhile, statistical analysis using General Linear Model showed that the pods storage has a significant effect on the color characteristic of the Malaysian dried beans compared to fermentation duration.
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