• Cheaper Chocolate — Chromatography Investigates

Cheaper Chocolate — Chromatography Investigates

May 19 2017 Read 1912 Times

When is chocolate not chocolate? Well, in the future the answer could be ‘when it’s made of jackfruit seeds’. Researchers have recently published a paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (JAFC) describing how the seeds of the jackfruit could potentially be used as a low-cost substitute for cocoa beans. Interested? Read on.

Jackfruit — the largest fruit

Jackfruit is a species that belongs in the same family as the fig or breadfruit. It is thought that it originated on the Indian subcontinent, but is now found in South and South-eastern Asia. The fruit of the tree is the largest tree-borne fruit known — weighing up to 35kg and almost a metre in length, you may need a bigger fruit bowl.

The flesh of the fruit is starchy, but a good source of fibre with the flavour said to be a combination of apple, banana, mango and pineapple. It is used in many Southeast Asian dishes including curry in Bangladesh, where the flesh is eaten on its own. The seeds are often dried and used in curries — and it is the seeds that might get chocolate lovers interested in this largest of fruits.

Cocoa cannot meet demand

Farmers produce millions of tons of cocoa every year — almost four million tons. But unfortunately, the forecast is for our sweet tooth’s to get sweeter and that demand will be around 4.5 million tons in the next few years. So, food scientists are searching for something that can be used as a substitute to cocoa and keep us all happy.

One candidate, as the paper in JAFC — Optimization of Postharvest Conditions To Produce Chocolate Aroma from Jackfruit Seeds — suggests are the seeds produced in the fruit of the jackfruit tree. In Brazil — where the researchers are based — the seeds of the jackfruit are considered waste. So, in the home of the largest cocoa producer in the Americas, the team set about seeing if they could make a chocolate substitute from the seeds.

It’s chocolate — but not as we know it

The researchers made the seeds into a flour by acidifying or fermenting them before they were dried. They made 27 different flours by roasting the flours at different temperatures for different lengths of time like the methods used to produce the chocolate aromas associated with cocoa beans.

The team then isolated and identified the aromas of the flour using gas chromatography – mass spectrometry. Gas chromatography is one of the key techniques in the separation of components with the type of silica used key to the success of the method. The impact of different silica types is discussed in the article, Spheres-on-sphere (SOS) Silica a Real Support for Separation of Large Biomolecules.

The researchers could identify several components that contributed to the chocolate aroma they produced and volunteers were able to grade the different flours on their chocolate smell. The conclusion is that jackfruit seeds can act as a substitute for cocoa.


Reader comments

Do you like or dislike what you have read? Why not post a comment to tell others / the manufacturer and our Editor what you think. To leave comments please complete the form below. Providing the content is approved, your comment will be on screen in less than 24 hours. Leaving comments on product information and articles can assist with future editorial and article content. Post questions, thoughts or simply whether you like the content.

Post a Comment

Digital Edition

Chromatography Today - Buyers' Guide 2021

December 2020

In This Edition Articles Modern & Practical Applications - LC-MS Analysis of Therapeutic Oligonucleotide and Related Products - Expanding the Boundaries of Light Scattering for Macromolec...

View all digital editions



Mar 08 2021 Virtual Event

ISCC & GCxGC 2021

May 09 2021 Fort Worth, Tx, USA

Plastics Recycling World Expo - NEW DATES

Jun 01 2021 Essen, Germany

ASMS Conference

Jun 06 2021 Philadelphia, PA, USA

PREP 2021

Jun 06 2021 Baltimore, MD, USA

View all events