Fermentation Research

Background

Fermentation is the most important flavor-development step in chocolate-making. Researchers are just beginning to explore how best to manipulate this step to get the most out of chocolate flavor. Lab fermentations, controlled fermentations, single-organism fermentations, and double-fermentations have all been tested; investigators are also adjusting variables like the instruments and equipment, moisture level, and stirring frequency.

Current Directions

My current research focuses on the breakdown of cacao proteins during research. I am modeling the conformational changes in this protein as well as its binding specificity to relevant enzymes with the goal of creating a predictive model for flavor-active peptides that will be developed at different pH and organic acid profiles in a cacao fermentation.