Assessment of flavour can take place at the cocoa liquor stage or when made up fully into chocolate. Liquor tasting allows the tasting to be done without the addition of cocoa butter, sugar and milk products which dilute the taste impression. Tasting can be carried out by a panel of tasters. Samples are evaluated for strength of cocoa or chocolate flavour, residual acidity, bitterness and astringency, and off-flavours.
The International Confectionery Association (ICA), formerly the International Office of Cocoa, Chocolate and Sugar Confectionery (IOCCC), have a procedure for identifying flavour defects and off-flavours in cocoa liquor. It is a test that can be carried out by a panel of five to ten people and does not require any specialised training or equipment. The ICA can be contacted at: 1 rue Defacqz, B1000 Brussels, Belgium. Tel; +32 (2) 539 18 00 Fax: +32 (2) 539 15 75
Cocoa beans. Chocolate manufacturers quality requirements. Biscuit, Cake, Chocolate and Confectionery Alliance (BCCCA), October 1996
The detection of specific off-flavours in cocoa beans. Analytical method. IOCCC, 1996.