cocoa drying on raised platform


Mr Abraham Nchenge of Ncocknock section -drying cocoa with family members

While sun drying is slow, it is cheap and has the added advantage that the acidity level of cocoa beans dried in the sun is lower.

Drying

After fermentation the cocoa is spread on patios or placed on raised platforms to dry. The moisture content must be reduced to about 7.5%. It may take 7 days for the cocoa beans to dry fully if conditions are good, and considerably longer if drying is disrupted by rain. The drying process completes the oxidation of any remaining acetic acid, which is why sun drying, is preferred to other methods.

All traces of mucilage remaining after fermentation are removed from the beans during the drying process as the beans are turned. Drying on mats, raised on bamboo frames, is encouraged because this helps visual inspection: turning the beans allows those with obvious defects to be removed. Alternatively the beans are spread on concrete surfaces and regularly turned.

MACEFCOOP insistence on quality, reinforced by frequent training and employment of staff responsible for quality, has brought about a general improvement in the quality of the cocoa produced by members.


cocoa drying on raised platform

Cocoa beans are hygroscopic, readily absorbing moisture; storage conditions therefore are very important and the export process or onward sale should take place as soon as possible after drying. MACEFCOOP frequently experiences problems during the transport of cocoa from Mamfé to Douala and it is sometimes necessary to re-dry the cocoa before export.