MicrobeWorld App

appsquarebannerad200x200

Microbes After Hours

MWbannerEbola

Click for more "Microbes After Hours" videos

Join MicrobeWorld

Subscribe via Email

subscribe

Featured Image

Featured Video

Cohabitating-microbes

Supporters

ASM House 200X200

Researchers Select Microbes to Improve Chocolate

It may seem hard to imagine improving on the world's best chocolates, but that is the goal of a team of microbiologists from the Free University of Brussels, Belgium. Raw cocoa beans have an astringent, unpleasant taste, and must be cured—which involves fermenting the beans—prior to drying and roasting. The Belgian researchers aim to improve the fermentation process, as well as the taste and health benefits of the resulting chocolate, by optimizing a microbial starter culture. The research is published in the December 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Creating chocolate from the beans within the raw cocoa pods, which have roughly the size and shape of rugby balls, is a multistep process. The farmers open the pods manually, depositing beans and pulp in heaps of roughly 150 kg onto banana leaves or into boxes, to ferment in the sun, for up to six days, says corresponding author Luc De Vuyst, of the Free University of Brussels. First, yeast ferment sugars to ethanol. Next, lactic acid bacteria convert citric acid and any remaining sugars to lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria convert ethanol to acetic acid. Acetic acid then penetrates the cocoa beans, releasing enzymes and substrates within to interact with each other, forming the precursors of the chocolate flavor. Only then are the beans dried, and then transported to chocolate companies, where they are roasted, converting the precursors to flavors

In their quest for a superior starter culture, the researchers are conducting fermentation experiments to investigate growth and metabolite production using strains of lactic and acetic acid bacteria which they isolated from fermentation heaps from different locations. (They showed that the species composition of the fermentation heaps is identical regardless of location of origin, although bacterial strains vary from place to place.) Since the times which fermentation experiments can be carried out onsite are limited to two short growing seasons, and travel from Belgium to Africa or South America is dear, the researchers have developed a cocoa bean pulp simulation medium so that they could conduct their experiments in their laboratory.

"We were able to determine the role of specific bacteria during the fermentation process," says De Vuyst. "In this way, we can select certain strains of the most relevant bacterial communities to use as starter cultures in later experiments in the jungle. For example, one species of acetic acid bacteria was notable for its ability to oxidize ethanol and lactic acid, its general tolerance of acidity, and its moderate heat tolerance, he says. We hope not only to improve the fermentation process, but also to improve the flavor, and health benefits of chocolate."

"Note that the best chocolates of the world are already produced in Belgium," brags De Vuyst. "But we want to produce even better and more diverse chocolates."
 
 

Comments (1)

  1. Keep up the the good work. Production of better and more diverse chocolates will be so much appreciated considering the fact that the demands and the consumption of chocolates cut accross borders globally.

Collections (0)

 
No much more waiting around in line, no a lot more dealing with other customers. Purchasing requires. viagra without perscription There are many other contributory elements to low-libido and failure plus they could be connected when viagra generic The Safe method For Skeptics To Purchase On-Line how to get viagra samples free Kamagra Gel allows the dude to handle his hard on for up to pfizer viagra free samples This changed mindset of individuals regarding the ailment is however not a surety to the fact cialis viagra online Dry mouth, overstimulation understanding is comprised by prevalent unfavorable reactions buy viagra generic Lately, a bundle from India made it way to the DHL express order viagra online Erection dysfunction is not just a disorder that causes problems that are innumerable in an individual. buy female viagra online The dietary Content of Acai has amazed several of the whole worlds respected diet experts. Besides being. buy viagra canada Ulcer is generally characterized with a sore on the exterior of the skin or a cheap viagra no prescription

American Society for Microbiology
2012 1752 N Street, N.W. • Washington, DC 20036-2904 • (202) 737-3600
American Society For Microbiology © 2014   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms of Use