Fermentation of Cacao

The cacao fruits are opened and the pulp and seeds are transferred to larger containers. This is either performed by farmers, plantation workers, or in large cocoa factories where it can be done by machines.

The cacao beans are later transferred to wooden crates or baskets with banana leaves in between and on top to enable an optimal fermentation. The duration of the fermentation depends on the variety and is from 2 to more than 7 days. The length of the fermentation also affects the aroma, so if well-developed aroma is wanted the beans are fermentation for a longer time.

Opened Cacao Fruit
Opened cacao fruit (Photo: iStockphoto)
Cacao Fruits (pods)
Cacao beans ready for fermentation (Grenada).

The fermentation process transforms the flavor to what we associate with cocoa and chocolate. Without the fermentation process there will not be any chocolate flavor.

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