Researchers reveal that cocoa trees grown under stressful conditions can produce more flavorful chocolate, according to a study conducted on December 6, 2017.
According to the researchers, the weather conditions at which these cocoa trees are grown is more important than the agricultural methods used to grow these trees. These trees are usually grown together in mixed groves along with other trees. Agroforestry is a system, which provides an environment with less stress, increased soil nutrition and helps in maintaining ground water levels. However, these trees are grown under stressful conditions in solitary, monocultural groves so that higher yield is obtained.
When the trees are subjected to stress, antioxidants which has the potential to prevent the damage are produced by them. Also, the quality characteristics of the beans could be changed by these antioxidants. To know if the chemical composition will be influenced by different methods of growing, beans from five different cocoa tree farms were harvested by the researchers. This was done at the beginning and end of the dry season. After the fermentation and drying process of beans, they were analyzed by the researchers. Very few differences were only observed in the chemical composition of the beans.
In the beans obtained from monoculturally grown trees, more phenols and antioxidant compounds were found. Weather played a major role in the chemical composition of these beans. During the dry season, it was observed that amount of antioxidants present in the beans increased and fat content in them decreased. This can further show differences in the flavor of cocoa bean.
By subjecting these cocoa trees to stressful conditions, the quality of products such as chocolates produced from cocoa bean can be increased. This will result in an increase in growth of global cocoa market, as elaborated in the global cocoa market report published by Coherent Market Insights.