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Revista Peruana de Biología

On-line version ISSN 1727-9933


MACHUCA-GUEVARA, Juana Inés; SUAREZ-PENA, Erick Antonio; MOTTE DARRICAU, Emmerik  and  MIALHE-MATONNIER, Eric Louis. Molecular characterization of microorganisms during cocoa-bean fermentation process (Theobroma cacao). Rev. peru biol. [online]. 2019, vol.26, n.4, pp.535-542. ISSN 1727-9933.

Cocoa beans fermentation is a spontaneous process of post-harvest very important for the development of chocolate aroma and flavor, which involves a number of complex microbial activities. In this work, we identify the microorganisms present in cocoa beans before, during and after the fermentation process, applying DNA sequencing analysis and MALDI TOF / TOF mass spectrometry. With the first method, the predominant bacteria and yeast identified were Lactobacillus plantarum (29%), L. brevis (18%), Bacillus cereus (15%), Pediococcus acidilactici (12%), and Pichia kudriavzevii (100%). The most important peptide sequences of each identified strain by mass fingerprint were characterized too. By the second method, 51 species of microorganisms being 73.7% bacterial species and 26.3% yeast species were identified. Additionally peptide sequences responsible Vicilin protein characteristic aroma of the fermented cocoa beans and the albumin protein of 21KDa were detected.

Keywords : Cocoa beans; fermentation; microorganisms; DNA sequencing; MALDI-TOF/TOF MS.

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