Flavor formation and character in cocoa and chocolate: a critical review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 Oct;48(9):840-57. doi: 10.1080/10408390701719272.


Chocolate characters not only originate in flavor precursors present in cocoa beans, but are generated during post-harvest treatments and transformed into desirable odor notes in the manufacturing processes. Complex biochemical modifications of bean constituents are further altered by thermal reactions in roasting and conching and in alkalization. However, the extent to which the inherent bean constituents from the cocoa genotype, environmental factors, post-harvest treatment, and processing technologies influence chocolate flavor formation and relationships with final flavor quality, has not been clear. With increasing speciality niche products in chocolate confectionery, greater understanding of factors contributing to the variations in flavor character would have significant commercial implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cacao / chemistry*
  • Cacao / genetics
  • Food Handling*