Bio treatment of cocoa beans 

VacQPack ensures cocoa preservation, fighting insect infestations and related moisture issues in bulk packaging. As a result Cocoa conservation requires a specialized gas barrier liner, low pressure, temperature and controlled atmosphere MAP. Furthermore it can use Nitrogen N2 in the majority of the cases, or CO2 on the case of identified infestation or cross contamination.

In addition this conservation process works in a synergetic way, going along with the cocoa beans natural fermentation while stored. The recognized phenomena of CO2 releasing by the cocoa beans will in fact help on fighting the insect infestation hazard.

Noteworthy VacQPack has experienced several challenges on cocoa preservation. So, experiences on the field resulted on case studies next to Belgium traders.

In conclusion, long time storage of cocoa beans was proven to be achievable, overcoming the time barrier of 9 months. The beans’ quality was guaranteed even with packages being exposed to open air, suffering from sun exposition, rain and heat. Finally, this liner also proved to be insect and rodents resistant, due to its gas barrier.

A very interesting chain supply study on cocoa beans was recently conducted between VQP and a partner in Ecuador.

The goal was to know all the expenses related to the conventional way of handling, storing and transporting cocoa. And then compare it with the VacQPack system.

Cocoa preservation

Theobroma cacao

Especially relevant , Cocoa contains many vitamins and minerals as well as healthy doses of potassium and copper. In addition, supports cardiovascular health, and contains iron, which transports oxygen through the body. Finally, calcium and magnesium are also found in cocoa beans.

Hence all types of cocoa beans (Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario) are hygroscopic. Consequently they are suitable of getting contaminated by molds and insect infestations.

Due to the moisture exchange between the beans and the atmosphere, potential infestations might occur. Mainly from the larvae of Ephestia cautella (Cocoa Moth) in warm tropic regions. In more cooler tempered latitudes, cocoa can be attacked by the Ephestia elutella (the Warehouse Moth).

Disinfestation using chemical insecticides, normally aren’t compliant with residue regulations. That brings risks like health issues next to the consumer and market depreciation next to the manufacturer and/or trader.

The first symptom of damaged cocoa beans is the musty, unpleasant odor that is eradiated. Due to its fat content, warm weather is risky, because it will potentiate rancidity for all types of cocoa.

Therefore, cocoa preservation under bio treatment will grant the sensorial origin attributes and shelf life extension.

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