More intense roasting of cocoa beans lessens bitterness

As a daily chocolate consumer, I confess that the idea of reducing the sugar in chocolate and taking away bitterness at the same time was music to my taste buds.

Confection makers who want to develop products containing 100% chocolate and no sugar for health-conscious consumers can reduce bitterness and optimize flavor acceptance by roasting cocoa beans longer and at higher temperatures.

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers who conducted a new study in Penn State’s Sensory Evaluation Center in the Department of Food Science. The study involved 27 100%-chocolate preparations made from cocoa beans roasted at various intensities and 145 people who came to the center on five consecutive days, evaluating five different samples each day.

The research confirmed that bitterness and astringency are negatively correlated to consumer liking, and demonstrated that those qualities in chocolate can be reduced through optimizing roasting, according to research team member Helene Hopfer, Rasmussen Career Development Professor in Food Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences.


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4 responses to “More intense roasting of cocoa beans lessens bitterness

  1. I wrote a blog titled My Morning Chocolate a while back. I did that to avoid the stimulant effect at night. But its 7:30 and I have had another four small cubes. Interesting how we didn’t have a taste for Greek yogurt or dark chocolate a decade ago or so but now we do many of us at least. It comes from a plant so it’s a vegetable so it’s healthy, right? I’ve gravitated to 85% from the 70% that’s required for the health benefits.

    As a fellow aging cyclist, you know that it has magnesium and that helps relax the muscles. I know there’s Injustice in the chocolate trade like in many industries. And yet I’m grateful to be able to get and eat it. I suppose I have other vices but chocolate is one I have no intention of giving up.

    Liked by 1 person

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