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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #338222

Research Project: Sustainable Production Systems for Cacao

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

Title: Impact of soils and cropping systems on biochemical attributes of dry cacao beans

Author
item ARAUJO, Q - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item LOUREIRO, G - Cocoa Research Center - Brazil
item ROHSIUS, CHRISTINA - Biological Institute, Germany
item Baligar, Virupax

Submitted to: Agrotropica: Revista de Agricultura dos Tropicos Umidos
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/30/2018
Publication Date: 12/1/2018
Citation: Araujo, Q.R., Loureiro, G.A., Rohsius, C., Baligar, V.C. 2018. Impact of soils and cropping systems on biochemical attributes of dry cacao beans. Agrotropica: Revista de Agricultura dos Tropicos Umidos. 30(3):175-194.

Interpretive Summary: Biochemical attributes that contribute to the quality of dry cacao beans are important for marketability and for obtaining higher market values. In this paper we report the impact of different soil types (Argisols, Cambisols and Latosols) and different cropping systems (cacao cabruca agroforestry system, cacao tree shaded with erythrina tree, cacao agroforestry system shaded with rubber trees) on the biochemical attributes of dry cacao beans of the cacao clone PH-16, grown in the humid cacao growing region of Bahia, Brazil. Total acidity, simple carbohydrates, theobromine and epicatechin in the dry cacao beans varied according to the cropping system and soil type.. The cacao agroforestry system shaded with rubber trees grown on a Red-Yellow Latosol soil showed the best quality characteristics of the dry cacao beans tested. This information will be of use to cacao farmers and extension workers to select the right types of soils and cropping systems to produce high quality cacao beans.

Technical Abstract: The identification of substances that contribute to the quality of dry cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) beans is as important as the agricultural practices and the postharvest processing of cacao beans when evaluating food safety and marketing. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of cropping field sites, represented by different soils (Argisols, Cambisols and Latosols) and different cropping systems (cacao cabruca agroforestry system, cacao shaded with erythrina tree, cacao agroforestry system shaded with rubber tree) on the biochemical attributes of dry cacao beans of the cacao clone, PH-16, grown the humid cacao growing region of Bahia, Brazil. The average contents of the dry cacao bean for total acidity, simple carbohydrates (sucrose, fructose and glucose), theobromine and epicatechin varied according to the different cropping field sites. The cropping field site that had a typical dystrophic Red-Yellow Latosol soilunder the agroforestry system of cacao trees shaded with rubber trees (400 trees ha-1) showed the best quality characteristics in dry cacao beans. In contrast, the cropping field site that had a dystrophic Red-Yellow Argisol soil under the cacao cabruca agroforestry system (60 shade trees ha-1) showed the worst dry bean quality characteristics.