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Acta Nova

On-line version ISSN 1683-0789


TABOADA SERRANO, Patricia  and  ZAVALETA MERCADO, Ronanth. Low molecular weight fatty acids removal from Cocoa butter. RevActaNova. [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.1, pp.3-31. ISSN 1683-0789.

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.

Keywords : cocoa beans; fatty acids removal; sour flavor.

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