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Why are cocoa beans fermented before drying?

Once the cocoa bean harvest is done, it goes through a process of fermentation. Fermenting the beans helps bring out the natural flavours of the beans and helps kill bacteria that might be living in the bean. The process of fermenting starts right after picking the beans. The pulp of the pods the beans come from is crucial to ferment correctly. As you prepare to ferment the beans, you extract the beans and the pulp together and spread them out together evenly on mats or in special crates for fermenting. The pulp around the beans changes into alcohol while the beans ferment because of the yeast that enters the air and mixes with the heat of the sun or oven. The combination of beans and pulp produces alcohol that gradually ferments into acetic or lactic acid. Depending on the region, the process of fermenting the drying cocoa beans might vary, but most follow a similar pattern. The beans are placed in a series of wooden boxes from four to eight days to let them ferment. Rotating the bean

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