Physicochemical characterization of Theobroma cacao L. mucilage, in Ecuadorian coastCarlos Balladares, Jairo García, Iván Chóez-Guaranda, Sebastian Pérez, Juan González, Daynet Sosa, Rafael Viteri, Ana Barragán, Maria Quijano-Aviles, Patricia Manzano.
In 2014, Ecuador generated 141,000 MT of cocoa sweatings equivalent to 12,320 MT of reducing sugars that through fermentation can become Bioetanol. Cocoa sweatings was characterized to determinate its potential as biofuel. Methodologies described by AOAC 2005 standards were used. Values of 10.6 Brix; pH 3.58; density 1.10 g / ml, total sugars 12 and 33% reducing sugars 6.39% were observed. Chemical groups such as alkaloids, reducing sugars, and coumarins triterpenoid were identified by phytochemical screeninng. 20 chemical compounds were detected using by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS): 3 carboxilic acids, 4 sugar acids, 3 sugar alcohols, 2 amino acids, 1 furan, 2 lactones, 1 monosaccharides, 2 disaccharides and 2 glicosides. They represent the 11.08% of total compounds separated, and Sucrose (2.15%), glucose (2.13%) and fructose (4.42%) were identified by HPLC. The study showed that for each kilogram of dry cocoa produced 0.59 kg of mucilage are obtained and its sugars are an interesting source of raw material for the production of second generation bioethanol, results that contribute to reducing the environmental impact that generate these wastes.
Key words: Cocoa, mucilage, leachate, Theobroma cacao, bioethanol