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Developmental variation of sugars, carboxylic acids, purine alkaloids, fatty acids, and endoproteinase activity during maturation of Theobroma cacao L. seeds


, : Developmental variation of sugars, carboxylic acids, purine alkaloids, fatty acids, and endoproteinase activity during maturation of Theobroma cacao L. seeds. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49(10): 5046-5051

The changes of mono- and oligosaccharides, carboxylic acids, purine alkaloids, and fatty acid composition, and of aspartic endoproteinase activity, were analyzed during seed development in two varieties of cacao (Theobroma cacao). The majority of the components examined either decreased or accumulated steadily in concentration during the second half of bean development. Sucrose is the major sugar in the mature embryo, whereas fructose and glucose are at higher concentrations in the endosperm tissue. Considerable amounts of malate are found in the endosperm, whereas citrate is the dominant carboxylic acid in the embryo. A major change in the fatty acid composition occurs in the young embryo when the proportion of stearic acid increases rapidly at the expense of linoleic acid, which is reduced from about 18 to 3%. Theobromine is the dominant purine alkaloid (ca. 80%), and caffeine appears only toward the end of seed maturity. Aspartic endoproteinase activity increases rapidly during embryo expansion, reaching a maximal activity before final maturity. The results are discussed in conjunction with physiological changes in developing seeds, and the potential contributions of the compounds analyzed for cocoa quality.

US$19.90

PMID: 11600064

DOI: 10.1021/jf010620z


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