Jackfruit Seeds to Substitute Cocoa Beans for Chocolate Production

Jackfruit Seeds to Substitute Cocoa Beans

Compounds from jackfruit bean were found to have similar aroma as processed cocoa beans, which can be a potential alternative for chocolate production.

Researchers from University of Sao Paulo in Brazil reported that Jackfruit seeds produce chocolate-like aromas, which could be potentially cheap and abundant substitute for making chocolates. The study was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in July 2017.

According to Cocoa Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, cocoa is extensively used in production of drinking chocolate, dark chocolate, sweet chocolate, baking chocolate, and milk chocolate. It contains high flavonoids concentration, which helps in reducing cardiovascular problems. These are the factors responsible for increasing demand for production globally. Farmers produce about 3.7 million tons of cocoa annually worldwide. According to the researchers, although the yield is not expected to increase significantly, estimates suggest that worldwide demand for these beans is expected to increase to 4.5 million tons by 2020. Scientists are investigating alternative sources that can mimic chocolates distinct aroma and flavor to meet the increasing demand for chocolate.

As a part of the study carried out, researchers made 27 different roasted jackfruit seed flours by acidifying or fermenting the seeds prior to drying. These flours were roasted for various times and temperatures using processes similar to those used to enhance the chocolate flavor of cocoa beans. Identification of several compounds from the jackfruit flours associated with chocolate aromas was done using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry.

The chocolate aroma of groups of four flours were ranked by a sensory panel and response surface methodology was used to identify optimum conditions. Volunteers were asked to smell the jack fruit seed flours and describe the aromas. The team found that in contrast to the acidified flours, the fermented ones were described as having more positive attributes such as caramel, hazelnut or fruity aromas. Researchers concluded that jackfruit seeds are capable of producing chocolate aromas and are a potential replacement for the aroma of cocoa powder or chocolate.

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