Theobroma cacao L. cultivars grown in Venezuela are internationally, the most appreciated, due to their excellent flavor and aroma. The main objective of the present study was to determine the physical and chemical characteristics of cocoa butter extracted from different cultivars of Criollo cacao belonging to the germ-plasm bank of the Fondo Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (National Foundation for Agricultural Research). It was found that there were statistical differences in the proximate composition of the cocoa beans among the cultivars, studied as well as the iodine and saponification indices. Saturated fatty acids were present in higher proportions than unsaturated fatty acids, with palmitic and stearic acids as the main fractions. OC66 was the only cultivar where linoleic acid was present in detectable amounts (1.3%). The characteristic hard texture of Venezuelan cocoa butters was corroborated by their melting point values and the iodine index. The cocoa butter of Criollo cultivars complies with national regulation requirements.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.