There has been increasing interest in the bioactive components of cocoa beans as they are related to the nutritional and sensory quality of cocoa products. Sulawesi 1 (Sul 1) cocoa beans (Trinitario variety) with different degrees of fermentation were collected from Indonesia. Quantification of bioactive compounds in these beans was done to better understand its intravariety diversity in the composition of bioactive components. Epicatechin, proanthocyanidin (PA) dimer, PA trimer, PA tetramer, and cyanidin glycosides were the major phenolics in Sul 1 cocoa beans. There was wide variation in the concentrations of bioactive compounds among the beans. These cocoa beans can be categorized into 4 distinct groups based on the profiles of flavan-3-ol derivatives, phenolic acids, flavonols, and anthocyanins. The fermentation index of cocoa beans could not be directly related to the polyphenol profile. This study provides insights into farm management using Sul 1 as planting material for quality improvement of cocoa-based products with targeted bioactive composition.
Keywords: Theobroma cacao; Trinitario; anthocyanin; epicatechin; flavan-3-ol; intravariety; proanthocyanidin.