Cocoa Beans and Cocoa Derivatives from Cote-D’Ivoire: Investigating Ochratoxin A Level and Assessing Dietary Intake Adults

Adama Coulibaly, Godi Henri Marius Biego, Ardjouma Dembele, Kouassi Maxime Bohoussou, Abba Toure


The aim of this study was the determination of the level of ochratoxin A (OTA) in cocoa beans and derived products along with the estimation of the dietary intake in adults. Throughout harvesting seasons from 2005 to 2009, as many as 1895 samples of cocoa beans were collected at ports and areas of cocoa production and thereafter analyzed. OTA concentrations were determined by HPLC according to the standards of the European Communities (CE 401/2006). OTA intakes were assessed using data obtained from the analysis and the estimated Ivorian adult daily consumptions of cocoa beans and chocolate. Average OTA levels depending on cocoa grades were as follows: 0.64±0.53 µg/kg for marketable beans, 1.90±1.87 µg/kg for non-marketable beans and 1.40±1.32 µg/kg for total beans). As regards the types of beans, OTA concentrations ranged from 0.19±0.16 µg/kg (shelled beans) to 1.90±1.87 µg/kg (unshelled beans). OTA levels in beans were below the maximum concentration of OTA allowed (2 µg/kg of beans).

Besides, OTA concentrations obtained from chocolate were comprised between 0.048±0.040 µg/kg for sweet chocolate made from marketable shelled beans and 0.66±0.65 µg/kg for dark chocolate made from non-marketable unshelled beans.

Dietary intakes were respectively equal to 3.70±3.00 pg/kg body weight/day for the marketable shelled beans and 36.5±34.0 pg/kg body weight/day for the unshelled non-marketable beans. Those dietary intakes appeared to be by far lower than the Tolerable Daily Intake set by the Scientific Committee o Food (5000 pg/kg body weight/day). However, in view of the toxicity of OTA, it is imperative to foster best practices of harvesting, pod breaking, drying and storage of the beans for the total elimination of OTA from Ivorian cocoa beans.

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