Lets pick the ripe fruits!
|nearly mature fruits|
|hanging on the branch|
|mature and nearly mature fruits|
The pod is ovoid, 15–30 cm long and 8–10 cm wide, ripening yellow to orange, and weighs about 500 g when ripe.
The pod contains 20 to 60 seeds, usually called cacao beans.
The beans are embedded in a white pulp.
To break the pods, on the big plantations, they use pod breaker machines.
Little farmer use sharp stone or wooden bat to break it.
We avoid use metal material to break, cause it will reduce seeds quality.
Metal material will make the seeds turning grey.
|pulp and seed|
On modern process, we use Depulper machine to reduce pulp mucilage, then fermented.
We usually use the pulp to prepare a refreshing juice, jam, syrup or nata de cacao.
|seeds from nearly mature fruit|
This is the most important process to forming color, taste and flavor.
It fermented in the wooden boxes, fiber sacks or on the tray on the fermentation room for about 4 - 5 days.
After that, it must be dried, by sun or oven.
Sometime, before the seed is dried, the farmer washed the seeds on the running water.
Usually washing process make the seed break, it will reduce the quality.
So, this process mostly be avoided by cacao farmers.
If we get full sunny day, we just need four or five days to dry it.
Water content must be under seven percents.
We get the dry seeds...
This dry seeds are ready to traded, locally or exported.
So... we will process it to the advance product on the next part.
Hope you enjoy this cacao talk...