From Cacao Tree to Beans the Drying Process
The next important step in cocoa processing is the drying process. Drying of cacao is an important step in cocoa processing as some of the reactions which produce good flavored cacao are still proceeding during the drying process. Ideally, cacao should be dried over a five to seven day period. This allows acids in the cacao to evaporate and produce a low acid, high cocoa flavored product. If drying takes longer than seven days, mold contamination can occur and this leads to down-grading of the cocoa and buyers will pay less for it.