Desorption Isotherms and Isosteric Heats of Fermented Cocoa Beans (Theobroma cocoa)

Djedjro C. Akmel, Kouassi E. Kakou, Kisselmina Y. Kone, Nogbou E. Assidjo, Patrice Kouame


Water desorption isotherms of fermented cocoa beans from Ivory Coast were determined using the gravimetric static method of saturated salts solutions at 30 °C, 40 °C and 60 °C, and isosteric heats of desorption were calculated from Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The experimental data were fitted to several isotherm equations. The best fittings were obtained for the BET equation for aw<0.50 (with an average mean relative deviation (MRD) value of 1.56%) and for the Harkins-Jura equation for aw?0.50 (with an average value MRD equation of 4.17%). The isotherms obtained at 30 °C and 40 °C are practically coincident and overlapped for aw below 0.40. Fermented cocoa beans presented a monolayer moisture content of 0.083 dry basis (d.b.) at 30 °C and this value decreases with increasing temperature. The net isostheric heats of desorption for fermented cocoa beans for the temperature range studied (30-60 °C) were estimated as a function of moisture content. The maximum net isosteric heat of desorption for fermented cocoa beans was estimated at around 13.51 kJ/mol corresponding to a moisture content value of 2.85%. The energy requirement for maintaining the moisture content low of 8.7% (d.b.) or 8% wet basis (w.b.) for safe storage of this product or for reducing the moisture content during drying was estimated at around 9.58 kJ/mol.


cocoa beans, isostheric heat, mathematical model; water sorption isotherm

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Journal of Food Research   ISSN 1927-0887 (Print)   ISSN 1927-0895 (Online)  E-mail:

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