Matrix effect on quantification of sugars and mannitol developed during the postharvest of cocoa: an alternative method for traceability of aroma precursors by liquid chromatography with an evaporative detector

  • Maritza GilEmail author
  • Sandra Llano
  • Yamile Jaramillo
  • Jairo Quijano
  • Julian Londono-Londono
Original Article


The profile of reducing sugars developed during each stage of the postharvest of cocoa beans is an important quality index; these sugars are found to be one of the main precursors of flavor and neoformed compounds. However, its quantification after extraction from different parts of the bean is a challenge due to the complexity of the matrix. The primary aim of this study was to track the formation of reducing sugars and mannitol in samples obtained from various steps of the fermentation and drying processes of cocoa beans by validating a rapid matrix-corrected chromatographic method utilizing a corona-charged aerosol detector for improved sensitivity. The analytes were extracted from ground cocoa beans by solid phase extraction without a defatting step (20 mg raw fermented and 10 mg dried). The experimental variables influencing the effective detection were evaluated at different temperatures and signal filtering levels. Method validation studies showed an average recovery between 77.8 and 120% for fermented cocoa and between 79.6 and 117.7% for dried cocoa. A linear response was achieved for fructose, glucose, sucrose, and mannitol for a concentration range of 0.1–40 mg/L, and maltose showed linearity in the range of 0.1–70 mg/L. Regression coefficients (R) were 0.9991, 0.9993, 0.9992, 0.9995 and 0.9994, respectively. This method was successfully applied to a clone mix of cocoa from Antioquia, Colombia, to confirm the hydrolysis reaction of sucrose into glucose and fructose during fermentation and drying. A quality indicator of an efficient postharvest process in this study was determined to be a glucose percentage of 0.66% w/w and a fructose percentage of 1.46% w/w, which were higher than the values reported by other studies.


Theobroma cacao L. Soluble sugars Polyol Fermentation Drying UHPLC-C-CAD 



Program: “Promotion of the cultivation of special cocoa in the Department of Antioquia.” Financed by Government of Antioquia—Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development, through Science and Technology Fund (General System of Royalties) (Contracts 4600003348 and 4600003895). Scholarship for the academic formation of doctorate students supported by Colciencias-Colfuturo and Universidad Nacional de Colombia (No. 647-2015)


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Copyright information

© Association of Food Scientists & Technologists (India) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Grupo de investigación de Ingeniería de Alimentos (GRIAL)Corporación Universitaria LasallistaCaldasColombia
  2. 2.Instituto Tecnológivo MetropolitanoMedellín, AntioquiaColombia
  3. 3.Food and Nutrition InnovationCorporación Universitaria LasallistaCaldas, AntioquiaColombia
  4. 4.Universidad Nacional de ColombiaMedellín, AntioquiaColombia
  5. 5.Sosteligroup S.A.SRionegroColombia

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