Comprehensive Analysis of Cocoa Lipidomics – unraveling the unknown chemistry of cocoa butter

  • Theobroma cacao is a tree that produces pods containing high valuable seeds, referred to as cocoa beans. About 50 million people around the world depend on cocoa as a source of income. From tree to bar, cocoa beans undergo an intricate processing chain leading to various chemical changes within the seed. Lipids constitute half of the dry weight of a cocoa bean and the most significant part of the entire cocoa market value taking the name of cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is composed of about 95% triacylglycerols (TAGs) and 5% of other minor components. The physical and chemical characteristics of this fat have been at the forefront of many research studies in the past decade. However, there are several knowledge gaps regarding the chemical composition and modifications that cocoa butter undergoes during the production process. This research aimed at investigating the chemistry of lipids in cocoa samples from different production steps and geographical regions, thus enriching the present knowledge of cocoa chemistry. Furthermore, the evolution of cocoa lipids during the factory production process was studied. In the first place, analytical methods for the extraction, separation, and detection of cocoa lipids were developed and optimized. The overall lipid profile of unfermented, dried and roasted cocoa beans was investigated, and a solid phase extraction method, separating cocoa lipid extract in five fractions was established to aid the evaluation of the all cocoa lipid constituents. A large part of the research was carried out aiming at product valorization and exploration of new possible industrial applications performing multiple analysis on different samples provided by the company. The outcomes give insights into the potential of cocoa butter and open new horizons for future studies and industrial applications.

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Publishing Institution:IRC-Library, Information Resource Center der Jacobs University Bremen
Granting Institution:Jacobs Univ.
Author:Diana Sirbu
Referee:Nikolai Kuhnert, Matthias Ullrich, Frédéric Depypere
Advisor:Nikolai Kuhnert
Persistent Identifier (URN):urn:nbn:de:gbv:579-opus-1008242
Document Type:PhD Thesis
Date of Successful Oral Defense:2018/06/01
Date of First Publication:2018/09/07
Academic Department:Life Sciences & Chemistry
PhD Degree:Chemistry
Focus Area:Health
Other Countries Involved:Belgium
Other Organisations Involved:Barry Callebaut
Call No:2018/19

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