Determination of geometric properties of cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao L.)


Pedro García Alamilla
Aydee Tobias Baeza
Carlos Hugo Avendaño Arrazate
Ricardo García Alamilla
Areli Carrera Lanestosa


Geometric properties, Cocoa beans, Main components.


Objective: To determine the linear physical dimensions of dried Mexican cocoa beans to estimate their geometric properties and differentiate them through a principal component analysis.

Design/Methodology/Approach: For the research, 51 dry samples of cocoa beans (Theobroma cacao L.) were collected from three producer states in Mexico. The physical properties of cocoa beans were determined based on their linear dimensions: length, width, thickness, geometric diameter, sphericity, volume, and shape factor. Moisture, average weight, and ether extract were also determined.

Results: The results revealed the relation between linear and geometric properties, particularly the fact that bean weight is significant (p<0.001) regarding all the properties evaluated, except moisture. Said relation explained 98.8% of the total variation in the first two components observed in the cocoa samples from the three states (Tabasco, Chiapas, and Oaxaca).  Average bean weight, sphericity, and volume contributed the most to the total variation.

Findings/Conclusions: The only quantitative variable that showed significance was bean weight. The other measurements—length, width, and thickness—did not. However, there was significance when coupling the measurements in the expressions of surface area and volume.

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