Effa Onomo Pierre*;
Renaud BOULANGER; Martine Louise ONDOBO; Nicolas NIEMENAK; Pierre François DJOCGOUE; Jude MANGA NDJAGA;
Background: One of the most important criterions of cocoa quality aspect is the aroma. It goes together with cocoa prices. Aroma in cocoa or cocoa based products is a function of many factors such as the genotype, environment, climate, and postharvest practices. Among these factors, genotype of cocoa plays a primordial role.
Materials and methods: Sensory analysis of six different dark chocolate bars from five different cocoa hybrids and one commercial cocoa, has been carried out to establish the sensory profile of each chocolate. Twelve aroma sensory descriptors were chosen among these fruity, floral, sweet, honey-like, spicy, nutty, bitter, astringency, etc…The aroma volatile compounds of each dark chocolate were determined and semi-quantified using the HS-SPME-GC-MS technique.
Results: Data of sensory analysis showed three different pairs of sensory profile. The gas chromatographical analysis revealed forty-four different volatile compounds. Among these compounds, thirty-two have already been described in cocoa and cocoa based products. These volatile compounds were classified in four different aroma notes: fruity, floral, cream/buttery, and chocolate/nutty. The fruity note was composed of more ketones and was most important in SCA12×ICS40 dark chocolate bar. The floral note was very important in chocolate bars from ICS40 hybrids. This note was dominated by alcohols and terpenes. Ketones dominated the cream/buttery note. These compounds were more important in chocolate bars from ICS40 cocoa. Acylated pyrazines and aldehydes were compounds with the important content affected for the chocolate/nutty note of chocolate bars. This note was predominant in chocolate from SNK10×IMC67 hybrid. Even though several compounds must not be statistically different among chocolates, we observe some characteristics which lead each chocolate to be special.
Conclusion: The volatile compounds identified describe the specificity of each hybrid. Moreover, the content of these compounds in some hybrids highlighted their interest to belong to fine cocoa grade.
Keywords: cocoa genotypes, chocolate, volatile compounds, sensory descriptors.