FAQ

Products that can be made from cocoa

Many different sorts of products can be derived from cocoa.

The husks of cocoa pods and the pulp, or sweatings, surrounding the beans and the cocoa bean shells can be used. Some examples of these uses are:

Animal feed from cocoa husk - As pelletised dry 100% cocoa pod husk, it can be used as an animal feed. The animal feed is produced by first slicing the fresh cocoa husks into small flakes and then partially drying the flakes, followed by mincing and pelleting and drying of the pellets.

Production of soft drinks and alcohol - In the preparation of soft drinks, fresh cocoa pulp juice (sweatings) is collected, sterilised and bottled. For the production of alcoholic drinks, such as brandy, the fresh juice is boiled, cooled and fermented with yeast. After 4 days of fermentation the alcohol is distilled.

Potash from cocoa pod husk - Cocoa pod husk ash is used mainly for soft soap manufacture. It may also be used as fertiliser for cocoa, vegetables, and food crops. To prepare the ash, fresh husks are spread out in the open to dry for one to two weeks. The dried husks are then incinerated in an ashing kiln.

Jam and marmalade - Pectin for jam and marmalade is extracted from the sweatings by precipitation with alcohol, followed by distillation and recycling of the alcohol in further extractions.

Mulch - Cocoa bean shells can be used an organic mulch and soil conditioner for the garden.

Once the beans have been fermented and dried, they can be processed to produce a variety of products. These products include:

Cocoa butter - Cocoa butter is used in the manufacture of chocolate. It is also widely used in cosmetic products such as moisturising creams and soaps.

Cocoa powder - Cocoa powder can be used as an ingredient in almost any foodstuff. For example, it is used in chocolate flavoured drinks, chocolate flavoured desserts such as ice cream and mousse, chocolate spreads and sauces, and cakes and biscuits.

Cocoa liquor - Cocoa liquor is used, with other ingredients, to produce chocolate. Chocolate is used as a product on its own or combined with other ingredients to form confectionery products.

References:
Adomako, D., Non-traditional uses of cocoa in Ghana. Eighth meeting of the Advisory Group on the World Cocoa Economy, 26th-30th June 1995, Yaounde, Cameroon, pp.79-85. ICCO, 1995
The cocoa manual. A guide to de Zaan's cocoa products. Cacao de Zaan, 1993
Cocoa shell - Garden mulch and soil conditioner. Brochure from Sunshine of Africa (UK) Ltd, 2pp, 1998

ICCO Secretariat

International Cocoa Organization
Westgate House
Ealing
London W5 1YY
United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 (0)20 8991 6000
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ICCO Agreements

The ICCO International Cocoa Agreement is available to download in Acrobat PDF format.

Go to the ICCO Agreements page

ICCO Membership Procedure

The procedures for becoming a member of the International Cocoa Organization are provided in Articles 52 to 57 of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2010.

How to Become an ICCO Member - International Cocoa Agreement 2010