Optimization of Cocoa Pulp Juice Fermentation with Yeast Starter Cultures of Cocoa Heap Fermentations

J. F. Takrama, W. O. Kumi, G. Otoo, K. Addo and N. Camu



Research Paper I Published August,2015


Journal of Agricultural Science and Food Technology  Vol. 1 (3), pp.22-33





The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) produces crude ethanol from cocoa sweatings by spontaneous fermentation and distillation. The crude ethanol is further refined and blended into gin and brandy for the local market. The operation is sub-optimal and results in waste of raw materials, energy and time. Following a research carried out on the biodiversity and population of microorganisms involved in heap fermentation, pure cultures of the yeasts became available thus prompting the need to further optimize the process of alcohol production from cocoa pulp juice using starter cultures prepared from microorganisms isolated from cocoa heap fermentations. In these experiments, 10 yeast strains and a combination of some of these strains were used as starter cultures for the fermentation of cocoa pulp juice to produce ethanol. Results from metabolite analyses of this study revealed that Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Issatchenkia orientalis gave maximum ethanol production of 1571.7 mM and 1396.8 mM within 36 and 48 h of fermentation, respectively as compared to the spontaneous fermentation which gave maximum ethanol production of 503.2 mM within 48 h. Pichia kluyveri which gave the lowest ethanol production (324.9 mM) produced the maximum mannitol concentration of 249.0 mM.

Key Words: Cocoa sweatings, Metabolite analysis, HPAEC-PAD, GC-MS, Sensory evaluation.

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