1Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales Agrícolas y Pecuarias km. 1 Huimanguillo-Cárdenas Huimanguillo AP 17. CP 86400 Tabasco México.
2Universidad Autónoma Chapingo km 38.5 México-Texcoco Chapingo México.
The aim of this research was to evaluate four different cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) fermentation conditions and their effect on fermented bean quality, in order to be able to recommend the most suitable condition to producers in the municipality of Huimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico.
Fermentations were carried out in square wooden boxes with capacity for 1000, 300, and 100 kg of fresh beans, as well as a rotary drum with capacity for 500 kg thereof. The fermentation process was carried out for 7 days, and the response variables measured were mass temperature, total soluble solids (TSS), pH, and acidity. The TSS were totally depleted after 2 days, during which time the yeasts transformed them into ethanol at temperatures of 25-35°C.
The most notable temperature increase in the four treatments was 49°C on the third day, corresponding to a decrease in pH from 6.31 ± 0.40 to 4.76 ± 0.03 and an increase in acidity from 0.38 ± 0.04 to 1.17 ± 0.25 g kg(-1), due to the formation of organic acids. There were no significant differences among the four treatments (Tukey α = 0.05).
The cut test showed that fermentation in 300- and 100-kg boxes and in the 500-kg rotary drum produced the same effect on fermentation quality, but the 1000-kg boxes exhibited lower quality (Tukey α = 0.05).