Chocolate is a highly appreciated food around the world which is rich in polyphenols but usually sweetened to mask inherent bitterness and astringency. Here we aim to determine how roast time and temperature in cacao roasting affect bitterness intensity and consumer liking of chocolate. We have also determined the relationship between consumer liking and perceived bitterness, astringency, sourness, sweetness, and cocoa intensity. Unroasted cacao from three different origins was roasted according to a designed experiment into a total of 27 treatments which were evaluated for overall liking and sensory attribute intensities by 145 chocolate consumers. We demonstrate that bitterness, sourness and astringency of 100% chocolate can be reduced through optimizing roasting temperature and time. Reduction of bitterness, sourness and astringency were significantly correlated with increased acceptability of the unsweetened chocolate samples. Aside from roasting, cacao origin including base levels of bitterness, astringency, and sourness should also be considered when optimizing consumer acceptability. Perceived cocoa flavor intensity, being highly positively correlated to liking, is likely to also be an important consideration for raw material selection. As for optimal roast profiles, for the cacao origins in our study, more intense roasting conditions such as 20 min at 171 °C, 80 min at 135 °C, and 54 min at 151 °C, all led to the most acceptable unsweetened chocolate. Conversely, for the purposes of optimizing consumer acceptability, our data do not support the use of raw or lightly roasted cacao, such as 0 min at 24 °C, 11 min at 105 °C, or 55 min at 64 °C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology