A comparative study of local and overseas fermentation methods using Trinitario cocoa variety in Samoa
Improving fermentation practices can improve the quality of Samoan cocoa beans for export. This report presents results of a comparative study between local and overseas (Vietnam) methods of cocoa bean fermentation, conducted by the Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (SROS), using Trinitario variety cocoa beans sourced from locations on Savaii and Upolu islands. The comparison found the Vietnamese method preferable and recommends the following practices during fermentation to improve cocoa quality:- holding pods for at least five days before breaking; spreading beans in the sun for a few hours before fermentation; fermentation for at least five days with daily stirring; washing after fermentation; and the use of a solar dryer. It recommends these practices be introduced as part of upcoming farm trials. Further studies could investigate other sources of quality differentiation (e.g. varietal, agronomical, seasonal).