Fatty acid profile and solid fat content of Peruvian cacao for optimal production of trade chocolate
ABSTRACT Using technical procedures, the fatty acid (FA) profile and solid fat content (SFC) of the Peruvian cultivar cacao beans CCN 51 and ICS 6 and the “optimal chocolate”, obtained from the mixture of the first two, were determined to assess their quality. These cacao beans were found to have important nutritional values. The FA profile of the cacao beans were similar (p>0.05); however, in the FA profile, the 'optimal chocolate' had significant differences (p≤0.05) in terms of palmitic, arachidic and linolenic acid. The n6:n3 ratio for “optimal chocolate” was 12.0 ± 1.7. Cacao beans had the same SFC, and SFC was highly temperature dependent, as determined using a mathematical model for chocolate. The SFC of chocolate refers to hard cacao butter content at temperatures between 20 and 25°C, and solid fat was heat resistant from 25 to 30°C, which is considered valuable in trade chocolate production. The quality-related properties of these lipid fractions imparted nutritional and physical aspects to the optimal dark chocolate for human consumption.