[12] Spaniards also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines. [69] Although cocoa has been adapted to grow under a dense rainforest canopy, agroforestry does not significantly further enhance cocoa productivity.
Europe and Russia as a whole handle about 38% of the processing market. Only about 5% of the world crop is criollo beans, which are the most prized for their more delicate flavor, though they are harder to grow. Additional cocoa protection techniques for shipping and storage include the application of pyrenoids as well as hermetic storage in sealed bags or containers with lowered oxygen concentrations. Many cocoa farmers in this region continue to prioritize expansion of their cocoa production, which often leads to deforestation. Floral buds are removed from the trees until they are five years old. It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called 'baba de cacao' in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to pale lavender in color. [19] One person can separate the beans from about 2000 pods per day.[19][22]. Regular (nonalkalized) cocoa is acidic, so when cocoa is treated with an alkaline ingredient, generally potassium carbonate, the pH increases. The Cocoa Life program advocates for higher incomes for farmers, authorization, inspiring young people, and conserving the environment. [62]. After this step all the different components are sold across industries to many manufacturers of different types of products. At these mills, the cocoa can be mixed with a variety of ingredients such as cinnamon, chili peppers, almonds, vanilla, and other spices to create drinking chocolate.

Flowers and pods appear on the same tree at the same time It can take about 10 pods in order to produce just one kilogramme of cocoa paste. The variety was likely the first variety cultivated by the Maya, likely in the area now known as Colombia. [32], The cocoa industry was accused of profiting from child slavery and trafficking. Native to lowland rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, cacao is grown commercially in the New World tropics as well as western Africa and tropical Asia.

They are not widely grown, but have some of the better resistance and yields of forstero with the more rounded flavors of criollo. Drying in the sun is preferable to drying by artificial means, as no extraneous flavors such as smoke or oil are introduced which might otherwise taint the flavor. It is filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called 'baba de cacao' in South America) enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and white to pale lavender in color. [55] Cadbury, one of the world's largest chocolate companies, began certifying its Dairy Milk bars as fair trade; according to Cadbury, as of 2010[update], one quarter of global sales of chocolate bars were intended to be fair trade. Côte D'Ivoire alone produces more than 40% of cocoa beans grown throughout the world. Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20° to the north and south of the Equator. Many varieties of cacao exist, and they can be grouped into three general divisions: forastero, criollo, and trinitario. They are sometimes sold in small packages at specialty stores and markets to be used in cooking, snacking, and chocolate dishes. The harvested and fermented beans may be ground to-order at tiendas de chocolate, or chocolate mills.

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