The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV is planning a CORNET project with UNICAMP (Universidade Estadual de Campinas) in Brazil to identify new applications for cocoa butter from damaged cocoa fruits.

Cocoa fruits with optical defects are currently either discarded, contaminating the environment, or mixed with perfect fruits in growing regions, reducing the quality grade of the crop, and resulting in lost profits for producers. The visual defects are caused by fungal diseases and result in crop losses of 30% of world production. 

At the same time, the raw material price for cocoa butter has been rising steadily in recent years. In order to meet the high demand and reduce prices, the existing scarce resources in the growing regions must be optimally utilized.

Since the optically damaged cocoa beans can nevertheless be processed into flawless cocoa butter, which is, however, not used in the food sector, new areas of application are required.

The goal of this project is to identify new applications for cocoa beans derived from fruit that have the fungal diseases black pod disease (Phytophtora palmivora) and witches' broom (Moniliophthora perniciosa). 

Cocoa butter has a wide range of applications in cosmetics - from color cosmetics and leave-on to rinse-off and hair care products. The project will investigate whether cocoa butter from cocoa fruit with optical defects can also be used in the cosmetics industry.

With the results of the project, cocoa butter can be offered on the world market in larger quantities and at significantly lower prices. Harvest losses can be reduced and resources in the growing areas can be used more efficiently, improving living and environmental conditions for producers.

The project is funded by CORNET and is currently in the application phase.

CORNET stands for Collective Research Networking and facilitates transnational collaborative research projects. The initiative networks national and regional collaborative research programs from different countries to enable international research projects for the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises. In Germany, CORNET is based on the Industrial Cooperative Research (IGF) funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

We are searching for participants for the project-accompanying consortium. 

If you are interested in participating, free of charge, your contact persons are:

Isabell Rothkopf
Group leader chocolate technology
Food process development
Telefon: +49 (0) 8161 491-635
Mobil: +49 (0) 1512 0150838

Arielle Springer 
Research Associate
Food quality retention 
Tel.:  +49 8161 491-470 
Mobil: +49 1716 411383

About Fraunhofer IVV:
As an institute for applied research, the Fraunhofer IVV is a leader in the fields of process engineering and packaging and develops products and processes in the areas of food, packaging, product performance, processing machinery, and recycling and environment. Together with partners from industry, other institutes, alliances, universities and colleges, the staff work in thematic collaborations on joint projects and developments.

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