Classification of Cocoa Beans – Based on Quality

The high-quality cocoa beans are about 22mm long, about 8mm thick, and have full grains, with an average weight of about 104g per 100 grains. Different types and varieties of cocoa beans have different particle sizes.

Classification of cocoa beans based on quality

Generally, cocoa beans contain a certain amount of moldy beans, broken beans, insect-eaten beans, sprouted beans and deflated beans, and blue-gray stiff beans that are not fully fermented. The classification of cocoa bean grades is to divide cocoa beans into four grades according to the proportion of defective beans and blue-gray beans:

  • First class cocoa beans: not more than 5% defective and blue-gray beans
  • Secondary cocoa beans: not more than 10% defective and blue-gray beans
  • Grade 3 cocoa beans: no more than 10% for defective beans and no more than 20% for blue-grey beans.
  • Grade 4 cocoa beans: no more than 10% defective beans, no regulations for blue-gray beans.

Note: Generally only first-grade cocoa beans and second-grade cocoa beans are accepted in international trade.

Classification of Cocoa Beans - Based on Quality
Classification of Cocoa Beans – Based on Quality

Definitions of several defective beans:

  1. Moldy beans: Cocoa beans that are moldy inside can be seen by the naked eye.
  2. Stiff beans: the naked eye can see that half or more of the cut surface is blue-gray cocoa beans.
  3. Insect-eaten beans: no matter which development period, as long as the cocoa beans with insect-eaten or visible signs of pest damage are found inside.
  4. Germinated beans: The germination of the germ breaks through the shell, and the shell becomes a cracked or broken cocoa bean.
  5. Flat beans: cocoa beans whose cotyledons are so thin that the cotyledon section cannot be formed when cut.
  6. Smoked beans: Cocoa beans that can be tasted or smelled or have signs of smoking.
  7. Broken beans: The broken part is less than half of the cocoa beans.

Contract specifications for imported cocoa beans:

The general regulations are ① 100g number of grains: 100 cocoa beans produced in Africa and 110 grains produced in Malaysia; ② defective beans: no more than 5%.

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