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Proposal for a protocol for assessing the quality of cocoa and products: application of near-infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics


The world cocoa demand is growing and it reflects the lack of quality. Brazil has been considered a producer of low quality and there is risk of loss of commercial viability of the culture because of several factors that caused the downfall of national productivity. The national breeding programs, aiming the increase of productivity and the adding value, have been trying to obtain cocoa varieties of higher quality. A lot of studies show the relationship between the cocoa quality with the genetic characteristics and geographical origin. Despite the need, in Brazil, there are not protocols that allow evaluating the cocoa produced and imported in an objective and comprehensive way. Therefore, this research aims to propose a protocol for evaluating the quality of cocoa, considering methods currently in use and the application of near infrared spectroscopy (NIR) associated with chemometrics. This protocol should enable the rapid determination of quality parameters such as chemical composition, and the evaluation of samples in accordance with existing quality standards or or new standards that may be suggested for specific applications (select products with different taste, with a higher content of specific compounds, to certify the origin of the material, among others). Analyses by NIR are quick and inexpensive, offering results of various analytical parameters simultaneously. The chemometrics can correlate the results, creating mathematical models of pattern recognition and multivariate calibration. The proposal includes technological processes, physical-chemical and sensory analysis for integrated assessment of cocoa beans and products derived therefrom (liquors, cocoa butter and chocolate). (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HASHIMOTO, JULIANA C.; LIMA, JESSICA C.; CELEGHINI, RENATA M. S.; NOGUEIRA, ALESSANDRA B.; EFRAIM, PRISCILLA; POPPI, RONEI J.; PALLONE, JULIANA A. L.. Quality Control of Commercial Cocoa Beans (Theobroma cacao L.) by Near-infrared Spectroscopy. FOOD ANALYTICAL METHODS, v. 11, n. 5, p. 1510-1517, . (12/00206-5)

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