A process in which cocoa polyphenol concentrate is obtained comprising the steps of:
a) subjecting unfermented cocoa beans to a blanching step in water at a temperature in the range from 85-100°C for a time period in the range from 3 to 15 minutes to give unfermented cocoa beans with reduced polyphenol oxidase activity.
b) drying the unfermented cocoa beans with reduced polyphenol oxidase activity at a temperature of less than 85°C to obtain dried unfermented cocoa beans with a moisture content of no more than 15%.
c) subjecting the dried unfermented cocoa beans to a particle size reduction step to obtain dry unfermented cocoa bean intermediate whereby at least 99 wt% of the product has a particle size less than or equal to 300µm.
d) concentrating the cocoa polyphenol extract to yield a cocoa polyphenol concentrate; and wherein the process further includes a defatting step which is carried out prior to step d).
e) extracting polyphenols from the dry unfermented cocoa bean intermediate to give a cocoa polyphenol extract and extracted solids.
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