Enzymatic activity of proteases and its isoenzymes in fermentation process in cultivars of cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) produced in southern Bahia, Brazil


Food Sci. Technol




Abstract The fermentation of cocoa seeds envolves microbial processes and the action of enzymes. To identify the possible differences in the cocoa fermentation process, with regards to proteolysis, this study has the objective of determining protease activity (under predetermined conditions) and its isoenzymes in two cocoa cultivars (PH-16 and HRT-1188) in different cocoa fermentation times, in addition to establishing the microbial load (molds and yeasts and aerobic mesophilic). Protease and its isoenzymes were extracted and partially purified and the enzymatic activities determined by spectrophotometry. The results showed that the proteases activity was higher at 66h of fermentation for both cultivars. When the isoenzymes activity was evaluated, the results demonstrated similar activity behavior for both cultivars, with regards to the isoenzymes aminopeptidase and carboxypeptidase, although the behavior of the endoprotease isoenzyme activity proved to be a little different for TSH-1188 cultivar. Concerning microbiological analyses, the results indicate that the period after molds and yeast counting reduction is consistent with the period of protease activity increase.

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