Cocoa Grading standards
International trade organizations suggest the producers of cocoa bean strictly adhere to certain standards by giving uniform fermentation levels to each bunch of the bean produced. This is supported by formulating a grading system with proper procedures and a grading catalogue. The grading system so emulated helps the customers understand the product specifications and purchase the required product from the producers. We at Farmspice are strictly in line with the international guidelines as we are one among the leading cocoa bean suppliers in the country with a large number of customers who prefer to have organic cocoa beans delivered online.
The merchantable quality of cocoa available in the markets is decided by a number of factors like the quality of fermentation, dryness and the lack of all forms of adulteration. Uniformity in size of the beans, absence of foreign particles including shells and broken beans, presence of slaty or mouldy beans, defective or fat beans and moisture content are also parameters which invariably decide the quality of the chosen bunch. Grading of cocoa bean is largely done on the basis of bean count per 100 grams of randomly chosen sample and the number of defective beans identified in the cut test performed. This is strictly in line with the internationally accepted grading process of the cocoa beans. Grading helps both the whole sale and retail cocoa bean customers.
- Bean count is the number of beans per 100 grams of chosen sample.
- Cut tests are performed to assess the quality of fermentation and bean health by cutting at least 10 beans from the selected bunch. The thus dissected halves are inspected for the desired quality parameters.
We follow a three-level grading system with Premium, Grade I and Grade II beans. Production of Premium and Grade I involve extra sorting and cleaning and so the prices are higher than Grade II. Grade two is the regular bean made available after the initial processes of fermentation and sun drying after bean procurement. Prices vary according to the intensity and expenditure of the processes involved in the making of each grade. Customers are free to choose according to their budget and requirements.
Premium: (Extra Sorted)
The bean passes through extra sorting and cleaning and only 70% of the regular bean is selected which is obtained through the process of fermentation and sun drying. This grade is specially designed for retail customers who demand uniform sized beans with no wastage.
- The bean count is less than 90 per 100 grams of cocoa bean.
- Each bean is hand-picked ensuring its quality.
- Slaty or mouldy bean not more than 3%
- Defective or fat bean not more than 5%
- Not fermented maximum 4%
- Maximum permissible moisture 6 -7.5%
- Flat, broken and small beans are selectively removed so that the percentage left over is never more than 1.
- Uniform fermentation levels.
- The whole process is undertaken in our own facility.
Grade-I: (Minimum sorted)
Minimum sorting and cleaning are done to remove flat beans and dust particles. Includes 85% of the regular cocoa beans after sorting. This is ideal for wholesale customers as they get cleaned beans with the flat ones removed.
- Bean count here is less than 100 per 100 grams.
- Flat beans are removed with minimum sorting to improve the bean quality.
- Uniform fermentation levels.
- The price difference is about Rs 20/kg compared to the Premium grade beans.
- This one is also fermented and sundried in our own facility.
Grade-II (Regular Cocoa beans)
If Premium and Grade I are higher standards, this is the regular bean obtained in the process. Our customers have happily admitted that our Grade II or regular beans are of much higher quality compared to other regular beans available in the market from other sellers around.
- This is the regular bean we obtain after fermentation and sun drying.
- This doesn’t involve further cleaning and sorting.
- Bean count here is less than 110 beans per 100 grams.
- Contains flat and broken beans unlike the other two grades since it doesn’t involve second level sorting and cleaning.
- It is also fermented and sundried in our own facility.