AUG 02, 2015 08:09 AM PDT

Hybrid Beer Yeast Boosts Flavor of Chocolate

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Hertrich
2 8 966

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa bean tree also known as Theobroma cacao. The trees are commonly grown in tropical regions of northern South and Central America. In order to produce chocolate, a process known as fermentation is used to break down the pulp which surrounds the cocoa beans and helps to develop a variety of flavor compounds. Fermentation is a metabolic process that occurs in yeast and bacteria where sugars are converted to ethanol. The entire fermentation process typically lasts up to seven days. Yeasts that are prominent in the fermentation process of cocoa beans often include Kloeckera apis, Kloeckera javanica, Kloeckera africana, Candida humicola, Rhodotorula rubra, Rhodotorula glutinis, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida topicalis.

One of the world's largest chocolate producers, Barry Callebaut, has initiated a research project to help enhance the flavor of chocolate using a newly developed hybrid yeast. Dr. Kevin Verstrepen, a professor at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium, has adapted a brewer's yeast to thrive within the cocoa bean environment. This unique type of yeast is able to fully ferment the chocolate without the aid of any chemical additives in order release chocolate aroma and flavor. This hybrid yeast is also able to prevent the growth of microorganisms that may cause the chocolate to spoil which helped to reduce the fermentation process from six to just four days. Scientists are now in the process of performing sensory analysis on the chocolates with the new hybrid yeast starter culture developed specifically for cocoa beans.
About the Author
  • I am a postdoctoral researcher with interests in pre-harvest microbial food safety, nonthermal food processing technologies, zoonotic pathogens, and plant-microbe interactions. My current research projects involve the optimization of novel food processing technologies to reduce the number of foodborne pathogens on fresh produce. I am a food geek!
You May Also Like
JUL 15, 2018
Videos
JUL 15, 2018
Can Animals Appreciate Music?
  Our appreciation of rhyme and rhythm might not be unique. Animals may also be music lovers. Using music studies done on crocodiles, the researchers
JUL 24, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 24, 2018
What is UV Photography?
Human eyes see visible light, whose wavelength ranges between 400 and 750 nanometers (nm). To visualize anything lower than 400 nm, one can resort
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o
AUG 09, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
AUG 09, 2018
How a Ham Sandwich Helps You Understand Mathematics (and the Universe)
Mathematics is an abstract method to describe topics such as quantity, structure, and even space, which sometimes presents quite an obstacle for everyday f
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
What does sunscreen look like with a UV camera?
  Have you ever wondered if there’s really a difference between SPF 30 and SPF 50? You’re not the only one. YouTuber Physics Girl set out
Loading Comments...