Quality and Market

The Alliance seeks to improve the quality of cocoa to obtain a differentiated and higher value exportable supply, therefore we work with producer organizations, cooperatives and private companies (aggregating partners) to develop post-harvest protocols that impact on quality, aromas and flavors of the cocoa bean, thus achieving a product demanded by niche markets that offer better prices for producing families.

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SCHOOLS OF EXCELLENCE FOR CACAO PRODUCTIVITY AND QUALITY

The Schools of Excellence for Cacao Productivity and Quality build the capacity of organizations, cooperatives, and private-sector aggregators in post-harvest processing techniques. The Schools equip Alliance partners with the tools to specialize in flavor profiles, cacao liquor, and chocolate making, allowing partners to do business with differentiated markets and capture higher value-add.

post-harvest cacao processing

1 fermentation.

Lasts 3-5 days, depending on buyer requirements. The beans are covered with banana leaves and placed in wooden boxes reaching 45ºC (113ºF) to bring about the fermentation. As the cacao beans and pulp decompose, the fruit’s interior changes color, the bitterness and astringency reduce, and a fine aroma is emitted.

2 Drying.

The fermented beans are spread on large, flat drying sieves, exposed to sun and air. This reduces humidity of the beans from 70% to 7%.

3 Storage.

The dried beans are place in 50 kg jute fiber bags, and stored on wooden pallets in ventilated buildings isolated from moisture, ready for distribution.

4 Roasting.

Strict time and temperature controls define the flavor, aroma, and color of the chocolate.

5 Grinding.

The seed is dehulled and ground into small particles called “nibs”.

6 Milling and Pressing.

The nibs are heated to release their high fat content. The solid fragments become a paste known as “cacao liquor”. This liquor is pressed to extract two additional products: The cacao butter (chocolate) and the cacao “cake” (cacao powder).

7 Blending.

Different ingredients are mixed and blended in a machine to make cacao liquor, cacao butter, sugar, milk, etc.

8 Refining.

The mixture is processed to make the final product smoother and more palatable, reducing any granular texture.

9 Conching.

The refined mix is further blended for several hours to remove volatile components that add bitterness and astringency to the chocolate.

10 Molding and Packaging.

When making chocolate bars, the final product in molded and formed. They are then sealed in aluminum foil or waxed paper, and then wrapped in labeling.

WHO PARTICIPATES?

Participants of the Schools of Excellence for Cacao Productivity and Quality include the staff at the cooperatives, aggregators, producer organizations, and private businesses that use post-harvest processes and aim for high-quality product.

MARKETS

The Alliance arranges meetings between cacao buyers and organizations such as cooperatives and private sector partners that aggregate supply.

NATIONAL BUSINESSES

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INTERNATIONAL BUSINESSES

PCA has established relationships with international chocolate companies that buy cacao from San Martín, Huánuco and Ucayali through private-sector partners such as aggregators and cooperatives.

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