Chocolate is made from cacao beans that have been fermented, dried and roasted to give them their taste, aroma and flavour. Fermentation is the critical step to producing unique, delicious chocolate. If the fermentation goes awry, the farmer cannot sell their crop. We study the fermentation process to help the farmer avoid losses from a failed or bad fermentation. This helps secure their income and ensures the ancient tradition of cocoa farming continues.Learn more
We use the most recent technologies in sequencing, called Nanopore sequencing, to investigate which microbes are important during the fermentation, where they come from and how they relate to specific flavours in the chocolate. With the aid of local farmers, we are understanding what a good and bad fermentation looks like and how we can influence it.