Making chocolate, the world''s most popular sweets, is a multi-step process starting with freshly harvested cocoa beans. Ever since the beginning of the twentieth century, individuals have been experimenting with chocolate-making, and even today, new methods are being introduced. Currently, researchers have discovered that an alternative processing technique called moist incubation results in a fruitier, more flowery chocolate than the conventional fermentation process.
After cocoa beans are harvested, banana leaves are often left for a few days to ferment. During this time, microbes in the environment alter the pulp, thus reducing bitterness and astringency, while also reducing the aromas of chocolate. Recently, scientists developed a non-microbial approach called moist incubation, in which dried, unfermented cocoa nibs were then re-dried for 72 hours. The method, which is faster and more easily controlled than fermentation, is generating similar
Researchers investigated the moist incubated chocolate using moist cocoa beans as a control. Fruity, flowery, malty, and caramel-like aromas, according to GC-mass spectrometry. Moreover, the moist incubated chocolate showed a mild flavor and aroma, which they found to be ineffective at making surgery.