• Logo
  • SBMUJournals

Polyphenol and Microbial Profile of On-farm Cocoa Beans Fermented with Selected Microbial Consortia

Tochukwu Vincent Balogu, Azuonye R. Onyeagba




Background and Objective: Quality and preference of cocoa as raw material for various mcocoa products primarily depend on fermentation techniques that modulate the resultant flavour and the phytochemical properties. This study investigated the combined effect of selected microbial consortia and bioreactors on phytochemical profiles of fermented cocoa beans.

Material and Methods: Three microbial consortia labeled as Treatments (T-1, T-2, T-3) were used as starter culture (≈105cells ml-1) for on-farm cocoa fermentation on three chambers (basket, woodbox, and plastic) for 7 days. These novel consortia were T-1, Staphylococcus spp + Pseudomonas spp+ Bacillus spp, T-2, Staphylococcus spp + Pseudomonas spp +L. lactis, and T-3, Bacillus spp+ Lactobacillus spp + Saccharomyces spp+ Torulopsis spp.

Results and Conclusion: The microbial profile were significantly (P≤0.05) altered by all treatments (T-1, T-2, T-3) and microbial frequency was enhanced by 5 -22.5%. T-3 and T-1 significantly altered phenolic content in basket chamber. Tannin was significantly (p≤0.05) varied by T-1(basket, plastic, wood box) and T-2(plastic). Tannin: polyphenol conversion ratio adopted as fermented cocoa bean quality benchmark was significantly enhanced by T-1 (basket, woodbox) and T-2 (plastic), but was significantly suppressed by T-3 (basket). This study evidently concluded that the appropriate synergy of microbial flora and fermenting chambers could achieve good cocoa quality with low polyphenol content (best for cocoa beverages) or high polyphenol content (best for pharmaceutical, confectionery and nutraceutical industries). These findings would avail an economic alternative to the expensive polyphenol reconstitution of cocoa butter used for various industrial products, thereby maximizing economic benefits for both cocoa farmers and industrialists.

Conflict of interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.


▪ Cocoa ▪ Fermentation ▪ Microbial consortia ▪ Polyphenol


. Rodriguez-Campos J, Escalona-Buendía HB, Orozco-Avila I, Lugo-Cervantes E, Jaramillo-Flores ME.Dynamics of volatile and non-volatile compounds in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) during fermentation and drying processes using principal components analysis. Food Res. Intl. 2011; 44: 250-258.

. Balogu TV. Effects of Selected Microbial Consortia on the Microbiology and Phytochemistry of Cocoa Fermentation in Nigeria. Unpublished PhD thesis, Department of Microbiology, Abia State University, Uturu, Nigeria. 2014; 285pp.

. Schwan RF, Wheals AE. The microbiology of cocoa fermentation and its role in chocolate quality. Crit. rev. Food Sci. Nutr. 2004; 44: 205 -221.

. Nielsen DS;.The microbiology of Ghanaian cocoa fermentations. Published Ph.D. thesis, Department of Food Science, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Copenhagen, Denmark. 2006; ISBN 87-991713-1-7

. Afoakwa EO, Quao J, Takrama FS, Budu AS, Saalia FK,.Changes in total polyphenols, o-diphenols and anthocyanin concentrations during fermentation of pulp pre-conditioned cocoa (Theobroma cacao) beans. Intl. Food Res. J. 2012; 19 (3): 1071-1077

. Adeyeye EI, RO Akinyeye, I Ogunlade, O Olaofe and JO Boluwade, Effect of farm and industrial processing on the amino acid profile of cocoa beans. Food Chem, 2010; 118: 357-363.

. Aroyeun SO, Ogunbayo JO, Olaiya AO, Effect of modified packaging and storage time of cocoa pods on the commercial quality of cocoa beans. Bri.Food J. 2006; 108: 141-151.

. Beckett ST. The Science of Chocolate. Second edition. Royal Society of Chemistry Paperbacks, London, UK. 2008;

. De Vuyst, L. and Weckx, S. The cocoa bean fermentation process: from ecosystem analysis to starter culture development. J Appl. Microbiol, 2016; 121: 5–17. doi:10.1111/jam.13045

. Cowan, S. T. and Steel, K. J. Manual for the Identification of Medical Bacteria (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press. London. 2004; 331pp.

. Garrity GM, Bell JA, Lilburn T, The Revised Road Map to the Manual. In Brenner, Krieg, Staley and Garrity (ed.), Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, 2nd edn, vol. 2, The Proteobacteria, Part A, Introductory Essays. Springer, New York, pp. 2005; 159–220.

. Thompson M M, fleet GH, The microbial ecology of cocoa bean fermentations in Indonesia”. Intl. J. Food Microbiol., 2003; 86: 87–99.

. Sharafi SM, Rasooli I, Beheshti-maal K, Isolation, characterization and optimization of indigenous acetic acid bacteria and evaluation of their methods. Iran J. Microbiol., 2010; 2 (1) : 41-48.

. Cheesbrough M, District Laboratory Practice in Tropical Countries II.Cambridgee University Press: 2002; 63 – 70.

. Kyi TM, Daud WRW, Mohammad AB, Samsudin MW, Kadhum AAH, Talib MZM, The kinetics of polyphenol degradation during the drying of Malaysian cocoa beans. Intl. J. Food Sci. Technol., 2005; 40: 323–331.

. Krishnaiah D, Devi T, Bono A, Sarbatly R, Studies on phytochemical constituents of six Malays. J. Medl. Plants Res. 2009; 3(2): 067-072.

. Aziman N, Abdullah N, Noor ZM, Zulkifli KS, Kamarudin WSSW, Phytochemical Constituents and In Vitro Bioactivity of Ethanolic Aromatic Herb Extracts (Kandungan Fitokimiadan BioaktivitiIn Vitro Etanol Ekstrak Aromatik Herba). Sains Malaysiana 2012; 41(11): 1437–1444.

. Anesini C, Ferraro GE, Filip R, Total Polyphenol Content and Antioxidant Capacity of Commercially Available Tea (Camellia sinensis). Argentina J. Afr. Food Chem. 2008; 56(19): 9225-9229

. Ainsworth EA, Gillespie KM,. Estimation of Total Phenolic Content and Other Oxidation Substrates in Plant Tissues Using Folin-Ciocalteu Reagent. Nat. Protoc. 2007; 2(4):875–7. [PubMed: 17446889]

. Nielsen DS, Teniola OD, Ban-Koffi L, Owusu M, Andersson T, Holzapfel W. The microbiology of Ghanaian cocoa fermentations analysed using culture dependent and culture independent methods. Intl. J. Food Microbiol.. 2007; 114, 168 - 186.

. Amoa-Awua, A, Madsen AW, Takramah JF, Olaiya A, Ban-koffi L, Jakobsen M. Quality manual for production and primary processing of cocoa. Department of food science, University of Copenhagen Press. 2007;

. Hii CL, Law CL, Cloke M, Suzannah S, Thin layer drying kinetics of cocoa and dried product quality. Biosyst. Eng. 2009; 102: 153-161.

. Afoakwa EO, Paterson A, Fowler M,. Factors influencing rheological and textural qualities in chocolate – A review. Trends Food Sci. Technol., 2007; 18: 290-298.

. Muhammad NO, Adeyina AO, Peters OM, Nutritional Evaluation of Fungi Treated Cocoa Bean Shell. Nig. J. Pure Appl. Sci. 2000; 15: 1059-1064.

. Muhammad NO, Studies on the Nutritional and Toxicological Aspects of Terminal acatappa seeds Fermented by Aspergillus niger. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis. University of Ilorin. 2007.

. Adeyemi OT and NO Muhammad, Biochemical assessment of the Chemical constituents of Aspergillus niger fermented Chrsophyllum albidum seed meal. M.Sc Thesis. Department of Biochemistry, University of Ilorin, Nigeria. 2008.

. Afoakwa EO, Paterson A, Fowler M, Ryan A,. Flavour formation and character in cocoa and chocolate: a critical review. Crit. Rev. Food Sci.Nutr 2008; 48: 840-857.

. Fowler MS. Cocoa beans: From Tree to Factory. In: Industrial Chocolate manufacture and use. Fourth Edition. Beckett ST (eds) Wiley-Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK2009; pp 137-152.

. Owusu M, Petersen MA, Heimdal H, Effect of fermentation method, roasting and conching condition on the aroma volatiles of dark chocolate. J. Food Proc Preservation. 2011; Doi:10.1111/j.1745-4549.2011.00 602.x

. Adeyemi OT, ON Muhammad and Oladiji TA,.Biochemical assessment of the mineral and some antinutritional constituents of Aspergillus niger fermented Chrysophyllum albidum seed meal. Afr. J. Food Sci., 2011 ; 6(1): 20-28

. Maleyki A, Jalil M, Ismail A,. Polyphenols in Cocoa and Cocoa Products: Is There a Link between Antioxidant Properties and Health?. Mol., 2008; 13, 2190-2219

. Caligiani A, Cirlini M, Palla G, Ravaglia R, Arlorio M,. GC-MS detection of chiral markers in cocoa beans of different quality and geographic origin. Chirality, 2007; 19, 329-334.

. Kofink M, Papagiannopoulos M, Galensa R, (-)-Catechin in cocoa and chocolate: Occurrence and analysis of an atypical flavan-3-ol enantiomer. Mol., 2007; 12:1274-1288.

. Kofink M, Papagiannopoulos M, Galensa R,. Enantioseparation of catechin and epicatechin in plant food by chiral capillary electrophoresis. Eur. Food Res Technol., 2007; 225, 569–577.

. Misnawi SJ, Jamilah B, Nazamid S, Effects of incubation and polyphenol oxidase enrichment on colour, fermentation index, procyanidins and astringency of unfermented and partly fermented cocoa beans. Intl. J. Food Sci. Technol. 2003; 38: 285–295.

. Francene MS, Monica MB, Carl LK. Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular Health. J. Am. Diet Assoc. 2003; 103(2), 215 - 223.

. Subhashini R, Mahadera US, Sumathi RP, Gunalan, G. A comparative phytochemical analysis of Cocoa and green tea. Indian J. Sci. Technol. 2010.; 3(2):188-192.

. Afoakwa EO, Quao J, Budu AS, Takrama J, Saalia FK,. Effect of pulp pre-conditioning on acidification, proteolysis, sugars and free fatty acids concentration during fermentation of cocoa (Theobroma cacao) beans. Intl. J. Food Sci. Nutr. 2011; 62(7):755-764.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22037/afb.v4i4.16845


  • There are currently no refbacks.