Yeasts could help yield `boutique’ chocolates

Yeasts used to ferment cocoa can modify the aroma of the resulting chocolate, scientists have found, paving the way for `boutique’ chocolates with different flavours.

This makes it possible to create a whole range of boutique chocolates to match everyone’s favourite flavour, similar to wines, tea, and coffee.Chocolates

Initially, the researchers sought robust yeast strains that could outcompete the many invading yeast strains that flood the cocoa beans during fermentation. After harvesting, the cocoa beans are collected in large plastic boxes, or even piled in large heaps on the soil, right in the farms where they are grown.

The beans are surrounded by a gooey pulp, which is fermented by yeasts and bacteria. Any species in the environment can get into the mix, leaving little control over the ultimate flavour. But by outcompeting other microbes, robust yeast strains could prevent such infelicitous variability in taste, she sa id. Researchers noted striking differences in aroma among the chocolates made from fermentations using different robust yeasts, said Steensels.

That was remarkable, he said, since only the yeast strains were different: the fermentations were performed identically , and the same recipe was used each time.

Source: Times of India- 23 Nov’2015