Optimizing chocolate production through traceability: A review of the influence of farming practices on cocoa bean quality

Rolando Saltini, Renzo Akkerman*, Stina Frosch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

103 Citations (Scopus)


Due to recent developments in traceability systems, it is now possible to exchange significant amounts of data through food supply chains. Farming practices applied by cocoa farmers at the beginning of the chocolate supply chain strongly influence several quality parameters of the finished chocolate. However, information regarding these practices does not normally reach the chocolate manufacturer. As a consequence, many specifications of the raw material cannot be taken into consideration in the operational decision making processes related to chocolate production. In recent years many studies have been investigating the influence of certain farming practices on cocoa beans and the subsequent chocolate quality parameters. However, no comprehensive analysis of the process variables in the chain and their effects on the quality can be found. In this paper we review and classify the available literature on the topic in terms of process variables throughout the chain, and their effects on quality and flavour aspects of cocoa beans and the eventual chocolate product. After analyzing the literature, we are able to identify potential benefits of using data regarding the farming practices into the chocolate production process. These potential benefits especially concern product quality and production yield, giving directions for the future of chocolate production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-187
Number of pages21
JournalFood Control
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa beans
  • Food quality
  • Optimization
  • Supply chain
  • Traceability

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