Cocoa science

With over 20,000 bioactive components, cocoa is one of the most complex food products.
Through fundamental research into the secrets of the cocoa bean, the Barry Callebaut Group is able to deliver insights that address current business needs, while maintaining a long-term strategic focus. By deciphering the potential of each bean we are able to develop chocolate and cocoa products with specific properties with regards to taste, appearance or processing.

Controlled fermentation resulting in superior tasting chocolates

Gino Vrancken, Barry Callebaut's Program Manager Cocoa Science
Gino Vrancken, Barry Callebaut's Program Manager Cocoa Science
“The cocoa bean is a diamond in the rough. So much remains hidden and unused. The cocoa science program aims to lift the veil surrounding this beautiful fruit to uncover its full potential.”

The fermentation of cocoa beans is the critical step in developing the full flavor potential of the cocoa bean. It is a spontaneous process conducted by the artisan-farmer directly after harvesting the cocoa fruits (pods). Because of its critical position in the quality chain linking plantation to chocolate production, the Barry Callebaut Group identified this fermentation more than a decade ago as one of the key steps that required optimization in order to close the quality chain and provide the purest, most intense, natural chocolate experience up to now. Therefore an extensive program towards that goal was initiated culminating in 2015 with the introduction of the first viable, 100% natural yeast-based starter cultures optimally adapted to the cocoa fermentation. 

Unlocking the full potential of cocoa

Decoding thousands of bioactive components in the cocoa bean makes it possible to predict which bean will deliver the deepest brown color or the most intense flavor. With the goal to analyze the around 20,000 chemical components of the cocoa bean, the Barry Callebaut Group is conducting a six-year research project called COMETA with Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. At the end of the cooperation in 2020, a unique database, new methods and rapid tests for the classification and quality control of the cocoa beans used by the Barry Callebaut Group in its production will be available, allowing the manufacturing of precisely tailored products. 

COMETA – a source of inspiration to create new kinds of chocolates

COMETA – a source of inspiration to create new kinds of chocolates

Get in Touch

Your Barry Callebaut Group Contacts

Christiaan Prins
Head of External Affairs
+41 43 204 03 76
Claudia Pedretti
Head of Investor Relations
+41 43 204 04 23