Revisiting the cocoa and chocolate production chain

Could chocolate really vanish by 2050? Not if you leave it up to the researchers of Ghent University, Brussels University VUB and Antwerp University.

With the FWO funded project “REVICO – Revisiting Cocoa” researchers aim to revise cocoa fermentation and downstream processing methods to allow a sustainable and optimal use of various cocoa bean components and their specific applications, in particular regarding flavour and health-promoting components.

Innovative processing techniques such as the use of starter cultures to standardize the fermentation process or alternative (milder) processing techniques are investigated, in order to contribute to a more constant and sustainable production chain, improving the cocoa bean content and chocolate quality.

In addition, the research focus lies on the identification and extraction of mood enhancing components in chocolate. Is there a true scientific basis to the feel-good reputation of chocolate? And if so, how can we steer the chocolate production process towards products with superior properties? Enough food for thought to be investigated in the coming years.