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Technical feasibility of the use of cocoa shells in the food industry: fat thermal behavior and evaluation of the defatted meal

Grant number: 19/02251-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate (Direct)
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2019
Effective date (End): April 30, 2023
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Engineering
Principal researcher:Christianne Elisabete da Costa Rodrigues
Grantee:Ingrid Denardi Soares
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:14/21252-0 - Equilibrium and production processes of biofuels and bioproducts, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):22/05656-0 - Evaluation of the aromatic profile of cocoa bean shells and fractions from the fat extraction process with hexane and alcoholic solvents, BE.EP.DD


Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) is the original fruit of cocoa tree, used in the food industry to manufacture chocolate from the processing of its almonds. For the viability of the use of the almonds their shells are removed and destined as waste, being considered a by-product of the cocoa industry. Cocoa production is of great importance for Brazil, which is among the largest producers in the world generating, consequently, large quantities of cocoa shells. It is known that the valorization of agricultural by-products is increasing due to the scarcity of natural resources, in this way, several studies are being developed in order to identify a nobler application for this material. Cocoa shells are of great nutritional, technological and economic interest due to the presence of biocompounds, such as flavanols and alkaloids, and to the significant content of lipids, proteins and fibers. In this way, both the fat of the cocoa shells and their defatted solids have potential applications in the food industry, allowing the development of new products. Cocoa butter substitutes are much needed by the food industry because of its high cost. Studies have shown that the cocoa shells fat is similar in terms of fatty acid composition to that of cocoa butter, so the possible use of this fat as a substitute for cocoa butter becomes an important issue to be evaluated. For this, it is extremely important to know the characteristics that determine the quality of the fat, such as its composition in triacylglycerols, thermal behavior and its physical properties, conducting a comparative study between the fat of the almond shells and the cocoa butter. In addition, with fat extraction, the defatted cocoa shells may also stand out for application in foods high in fiber and protein. Nowadays, there is great interest in functional foods that have potential health benefits, in this sense, studies have been developed to evaluate the use of cocoa shells as an inexpensive source of fiber and protein since, in addition to the macronutrients mentioned, the hulls present potential to supply to the food systems taste, color and aroma characteristic of chocolate flavor products. The objective of this project is to evaluate the fat and the defatted solids of cocoa shells in search of new applications for this by-product, which meet current demands of innovation in the food industry, as well as the reduction of residues from the cocoa industry. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(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)
SOARES, INGRID DENARDI; GOMES OKIYAMA, DAYANE CRISTINA; DA COSTA RODRIGUES, CHRISTIANNE ELISABETE. Simultaneous green extraction of fat and bioactive compounds of cocoa shell and protein fraction functionalities evaluation. Food Research International, v. 137, . (14/21252-0, 19/02251-7, 17/20840-4, 15/03579-5, 16/15865-5)

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