he special aroma and flavour of cocoa do not only stem from the type of cocoa -forastero, trinitarian or criollo; but also from soil composition, climatic conditions, and primarily, the work of the cocoa artisan the cocoa grower. The two fundamental factors that ensure the special cocoa aroma and flavour are fermentation and drying. Fermentation and drying are undertaken by farmers on the farms.
FERMENTATION - Drying is a gradual process undertaken in the field by the grower. The beans are exposed to sunlight for several days in order to reduce their water content from 55% to 7% and to eliminate some of the acids naturally present in cocoa. A good drying process is essential if mould and fungus are to be avoided and to guarantee a good flavour.
DRYING - The fermentation process involves removing the cocoa bean from its pod together with its pulp. This is then placed in wooden boxes and exposed to micro-organisms naturally present in the environment. These micro-organisms decompose the pulp which, in turn, sets off biochemical and physical processes which are responsible for the development of the precursors of aromas and flavours present in chocolate.