Our business depends on cocoa

We care about sustainability and farmer livelihoods

Controlled fermentation


While bean fermentation normally happens spontaneously in the bush or on the cocoa farm, Barry Callebaut has developed an innovative method to control and optimize cocoa fermentation.

This patented technique involves adding a 100% natural fermentation mixture to the cocoa beans at the start of the process (picture) and results in zero-defect beans. By contrast, conventional fermentation leaves up to 20% of beans defective – which have to be removed manually. The technology also intensifies cocoa flavors – key attributes of premium chocolate – and helps to preserve healthy functional components which are naturally present in the cocoa bean.

This new technique has been introduced to 9,000 cocoa farmers. The greater quantity and superior quality of the cocoa also result in higher farmer incomes.

Barry Callebaut sells chocolate made from these zero-defect beans. Terra Cacao™ chocolate is made from beans from Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon and West Java and has won several innovation awards. In 2013, we also launched three pure-flavor chocolate couvertures made with “Q-fermented” cocoa under the Cacao Barry™ brand.