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Chemical characterization and antioxidant activity of nibs from wild cacao in the State of Pará

Grant number: 22/15363-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2023
Effective date (End): May 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Severino Matias de Alencar
Grantee:Maria Clara Boff de Oliveira
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Originally, from South and Central America, cocoa is a raw material of great economic importance. It has a complex flavor and unique, resulting from specific reactions, chemical composition of the seeds, environmental conditions and stages of harvest and post-harvest. The seeds naturally, even if dried, have no commercial value, their infusion results in a bitter and odorless liquid. To add commercial value to the seeds, or almonds, as they are also called, they must undergo a curing process, which comprises a biological and a chemical stage. Specifically, chocolate, a product obtained from processed cocoa, in general, a mixture of cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar, added to flavoring and emulsifier, is one of the most consumed products in the world, and consumers increasingly demand sustainable practices during its production chain, so the environmental impacts, encouraging small producers and fair remuneration for those involved became relevant in this market. The demand for cocoa has grown over time; however, production has not kept pace, causing a deficit between demand and supply. The reduction in supply occurred for a number of reasons, such as the low profitability of production and the high incidence of pathogens that reduced production. There are studies on possible cocoa substitutes to meet the demand for chocolate production, such as carob, cupuaçu and jackfruit seeds. Therefore, the objective of this work is to evaluate the potential of wild cocoa nibs, in comparison with commercial cocoa nibs, in order to enhance the product potential of these "accessions" in addition to contributing to the sustainability of local producing communities.

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