Primary Strains

Features helping to define & establish a Primary Variety as well as fine-flavor cacáo can include a) self-compatibility (reproduces without cross breeding)/highly homozygous (carries identical copies of its gene traits); b) certain characteristics of the volatiles within the seed & the pulp that surrounds the seeds inside the pod (reduced polyphenols for instance; the ratio of linalool (an alcohol) to benzaldehyde – values greater than 0.3 indicate fine-grade on the flavor index according to Ziegleder 1990); & c) a favorable ratio of the alkaloids theobromine-to caffeine (typically a coefficient less than 8 coupled with a concentration of caffeic acid aspartate greater than 3 mg / g of fat-free dry weight; see graph at bottom of page); d) high content of free amino acids, especially in the presence of high reducing sugars, which react together during roasting for complex & even special aromatic compounds.

If all are in conjunction, it often adds up to ‘fine-flavor chocolate’.

(above) photo courtesy of Cameron McNeil; (below) the cacáo flower & its parts, courtesy CATIE, Costa Rica

Caffeine / Theobromine Correlation (source Christina Rohsius)

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