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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 #348402

Research Project: Sustainable Production Systems for Cacao

Location: Sustainable Perennial Crops Laboratory

Title: Cacao quality index for cacao agroecosystems in Bahia, Brazil

Author
item ARAUJO, Q - Comissao Executiva Do Plano Da Lavoura Cacueira (CEPLAC)
item LOUREIRO, G - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item Baligar, Virupax
item AHNERT, D - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil
item VALLE, R - Comissao Executiva Do Plano Da Lavoura Cacueira (CEPLAC)
item FARIA, J - University Of Santa Cruz - Brazil

Submitted to: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/27/2018
Publication Date: 10/25/2019
Citation: Araujo, Q.R., Loureiro, G.A., Baligar, V.C., Ahnert, D., Valle, R.R., Faria, J.C. 2019. Cacao quality index for cacao agroecosystems in Bahia, Brazil. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2019.1675691.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10942912.2019.1675691

Interpretive Summary: The quality of cacao beans is significant for marketability and obtaining higher values for this commodity from the international market. However, there are no known Cocoa Quality Indexes (CQI) that systematically evaluate a large number of chemical attributes of cacao beans that reflect the main attributes of this commodity in the marketplace. In this paper, we report the impact of different soils (Argisols, Cambisols and Latosols) and cropping systems (cacao cabruca agroforestry system, cacao tree shaded with erythrina tree, cacao agroforestry system with rubber tree) on CQI. Presence of potentially toxic elements such as copper, cadmium, barium and lead in cacao beans contributed to most of the differences observed in the CQI. This information will be useful to cacao farmers and extension workers to select the right types of soils and cropping systems to produce quality cacao beans with less toxic metal contaminants.

Technical Abstract: Brazil is increasingly committed to developing research on the quality of cocoa. The objective of this study was to develop a Cacao Quality Index (CQI) for samples of dry cacao beans originating from the humid region of Bahia, with functions: cacao Industry, chocolate flavour, human health and food safety. There were statistical significant differences between the means of the CQI and food safety function (FSF) scores in cacao agroecosystems; however, 100% of the cropping sites were classified by the CQI as regular. The FSF that refer to the potentially toxic elements copper, cadmium, barium and lead was one of the functions that contributed most to the differences observed in the CQI. The cropping sites characterized by soil types Argisol Red-Yellow Dystrophic tipic (0.69), Latosol Yellow Dystrophic cambisolic (0.66), Latosol Yellow Dystrophic tipic (0.64) and Cambisol Haplic Dystrophic tipic (0.63) and were highlighted as the group of higher average scores. These Latosols correspond to two intercropping with cacao and rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. Ex Adr de Juss.) Muell. Arg.) with average density of shade trees per hectare of 150 and 350, the Argisol and Cambisol both correspond to two cabruca systems with average density of 35 shade trees per hectare.