Cocoa’s value and quality are related to unique and complex flavors. Bulk cocoas exhibit strong basic cocoa notes, whereas fine varieties show aromatic, floral, or smoother flavor characteristics. About 600 various compounds (alcohols, carboxylic acids, aldehydes, ketones, esters, and pyrazines) have been identified as odor-active components. The specific cocoa aroma arises from complex biochemical and chemical reactions during the postharvest processing of raw beans, and from many influences of the cocoa genotype, chemical makeup of raw seeds, environmental conditions, farming practices, processing, and manufacturing stages. Although there has been much research on cocoa flavor components, the relationships between all chemical components that are likely to play a role in cocoa flavor, their sensory properties, and the sources and mechanisms of flavor formation are not fully understood. This paper provides an overview on cocoa flavor from a compositional and a sensory perspective. The nonvolatile and volatile chemical components of cocoa and chocolate flavor, and their sensory properties linked to the main influences in flavor formation, are reviewed. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 73–91, January 2016. CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE ARTICLE.
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