Teneda Llerena, W.F., Ah-Hen, K., Lemus-Mondaca, R.
Original Research Article,
In this study an assessment through sensory analysis and physico-chemical characterization of prepared infusions made of the cocoa husks, discarded during the roasting process to obtain cocoa paste, mixed with aromatic herbs was performed. Infusion of the husks from Cocoa Arriba (Theobroma cacao L.) was prepared mixed with 3 different varieties of dried herbs, including guayusa (Ilex guayusa Loes), lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (DC.) Stapf) and peppermint (Mentha piperita L.) in varying proportions, that sought appropriate considerations of quality and safety specifications demanded by consumers. An experimental design with 2 factors at 3 levels was applied, with varying percentages of husks (a0: 80%, a1:70%, a2: 60%) and dried herbs (b0: lemongrass, b1: guayusa, b2: peppermint), which accounted for a total of 9 treatments plus a control (100% husks). The assays were performed in triplicates. The cocoa husks had 9.78 ±0.12% moisture, 5.37% lipids, a content of total polyphenolics of 2135 ± 10; 468 ± 10; 662 ± 10 and 977 ± 10 mg GAE (gallic acid equivalent) 100 g-1 sample in the cacao husk, lemongrass, guayusa and peppermint, respectively. A balanced incomplete block design was used for the sensory analysis and treatments were assessed by 18 semi-trained judges, implying five samples per judge, resulting into nine replicates for each treatment performed in duplicate. Sensory analysis included the evaluation of color, odor, flavor and acceptability, and the formulation best valued by the tasters was that containing 80% cocoa husks and 20% guayusa. This formulation had a moisture content of 9.42 ± 0.18%, a pH value of 6.64; soluble solids 0.4 °brix and acidity of 0.014% reported as citric acid, being microbiologically stable at 18 °C with a shelf-life of 148 days.