Low molecular weight fatty acids removal from Cocoa butter

  • Patricia Taboada Serrano
  • Ronanth Zavaleta Mercado
Palabras clave: cocoa beans, fatty acids removal, sour flavor


Bolivian cocoa beans butter has had problems of sour flavor
and smell that inhibited its possibilities of being sold in international
markets. An hypothesis following a Strecker type kinetics was postulated for
the formation of low molecular weight fatty acids which were deemed
responsible for these unwanted properties. Since the formation of these
organic acids has probably an origin in the improper handling of the beans
by the farmers, and since no alternative source of raw materials was available,
a process modification was proposed to deal with these problems. An acid
base neutralization reaction using concentrated solutions of potassium
carbonate involving several mass transfer steps is proposed as a mechanism
for a process developed to remove low molecular fatty acids from cocoa
beans butter. The removal of these acids greatly improved the product’s
flavor and its physical properties including a narrowing of the band of
melting points. The experimental data was well correlated only after the
consideration of dead zones in the model proposed. The process modification
including a steam jacketed reactor devoted to the neutralization reactor is
under way.

Artículos de Investigación