© Fraunhofer IVV
Cocoa plays an important role in Brazilian agriculture. However, the fruit of the cacao tree (cocoa pods) is prone to fungal diseases. In the 1990s, a fungal epidemic caused cocoa production in Brazil to collapse. Nowadays, pest infestations are responsible for crop losses of up to 40 percent worldwide. In collaboration with the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), Brazil, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV are looking to establish new ways of using damaged cocoa pods as part of the Damaged Beans project. Cocoa beans damaged by fungal diseases could represent a valuable raw material, particularly for the manufacture of cosmetic products, and have the potential to replace harmful substances such as acrylates and mineraloil-based raw materials.