Chocolate, a famous sweet, is a multistep process starting with freshly harvested cocoa beans. This is why many people have been experimenting with chocolate-making for centuries, and new techniques are still being introduced. Today, researchers from the American Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry have discovered that an alternative processing technique, called moist incubation, results in a fruitier, more flowery chocolate than the conventional fermentation process.
The beans are traditionally covered in banana leaves and left for a few days to ferment. This translates to biochemical changes in the beans, which reduce bitterness and astringency, while further reducing the aromas of cacao. Recently, researchers developed an alternative, non-microbial approach called moist incubation, in which dried, unfermented cacao nibs were rehydrated for 72 hours and then re-dried. This method, which is more convenient than fermentation, demonstrates the flavors and aromas of the final
In the moist incubated chocolate, scientists used moist cocoa beans to produce flavorful aromas, as well as fermented beans. Combined, the moist incubated sample showed significant fruity, flowery, malty, and caramel-like aromas, and the fermented one found the chocolate to be the most bitter and astringent. GC-mass spectrometry determined that moist incubation induced better chocolate flavoring. This study suggested that moist incubation might