Title: Postharvest pod storage and maturity effects on specialty cacao pulp quality

Authors: Jeana Cadby; Tetsuya Araki

Addresses: Department of Global Agricultural Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan 1-1-1, Yayoi, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan ' Department of Global Agricultural Sciences, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan 1-1-1, Yayoi, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, 113-8657, Japan

Abstract: Specialty cacao products typically demand higher quality standards in exchange for price premiums or other non-market benefits. Quality characteristics within the context of specialty cacao were investigated after common postharvest treatments, pod storage and fruit maturity. Disease damage, Brix, pH, pod weight, and seed with pulp weight were measured over three levels of cacao pod maturity (underripe, ripe, and overripe), under timed pod storage treatments. Pulp quality of fresh pods was compared to treated pods. Longer pod storage treatments incurred significantly more disease damage over time. Brix, pH, and pulp moisture are primary measurable factors in early fermentation stages and were found to be significantly affected by storage periods and ripeness. Significant changes in pod weight and seed with pulp weight were also observed with increasing storage treatments and ripeness treatments. Shorter storage treatments (fewer than two days) may improve overall quality for and access to specialty cacao markets.

Keywords: bean and pulp quality; cacao pod disease; pod resting; cacao fruit ripeness; pod maturity; Theobroma cacao.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPTI.2022.121936

International Journal of Postharvest Technology and Innovation, 2022 Vol.8 No.2/3, pp.212 - 226

Received: 29 Jul 2020
Accepted: 16 Jun 2021

Published online: 29 Mar 2022 *

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