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Stone cell content in cocoa powder as an indicator of its quality. Preliminary studies




Key words:

cocoa powder, authenticity, stone cells, sedimentation



The cocoa fruit, Theobroma cacao L., is one of the most valuable fruits in the world. After appropriate processing, the beans contained in the pericarp are used to produce cocoa powder and an extremely popular confectionery product, i.e., cho­co­late.

Global demand for cocoa beans increases with the world’s population, as the number of gourmets of chocolate and cocoa drinks increases. In addition, cocoa is used not only for food production, but is also a valuable cosmetic and pharmaceutical raw material. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a decline in cocoa bean production, and the diagnosis shows that it is due to climatic, political, social and environmental factors.

The aim of the preliminary research was to determine the content of cocoa husks (stone cells) in cocoa powders on the Polish market and powder collected directly from the cargo hold of the ship, which was delivered to the seaport of Gdynia on importer’s request. Cocoa samples were encoded and analyzed for the content of stone cells according to the methodology AOAC 970.23 “Stone Cell and Group Count of Cacao Products”.

The content of stone cells in the tested cocoa powders was diversified and did not correlate with the sedimentation rate, which was probably influenced by addi­tional product characteristics. Research on the quality of cocoa powder should be continued in order to more accurately determine the effect of the residual cocoa husk content on the sensory characteristics of products obtained with cocoa pow­der, especially chocolate. Such research will be presented in a follow-up paper.


prof. dr hab. Maria ŚMIECHOWSKA, prof. zw. UMG

Gdynia Maritime University

Faculty of Entrepreneurship and Quality Science

Department of Commodity Science and Quality Management

ul. Morska 81-87, 81-225 Gdynia, Poland

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




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