Center of Cocoa and Chocolate Competences
ZHAW has been researching on cocoa and chocolate for decades. Our competencies, located in various research groups in four different institutes, cover the entire supply chain from the harvest and post-harvest processing of cocoa beans to the development of novel manufacturing processes for chocolate. In the field of cultivation, we collaborate with research institutes from the agricultural sector.
Agronomic factors (with partners)
We investigate the aspects related to cultivation in close collaboration with experts in the industry and science. Furthermore, we are open to future field experiments in this field. Please feel free to contact us.
- Flavour research & chemical characterisation
- The Food Chemistry Research Group is decoding flavor properties, with an emphasis on aroma, of cocoa and chocolate at the molecular level. To understand the influence of process technology and post-harvest treatment or the influence of origin and variety on the composition of cocoa flavour-active compounds, methods are used which combine instrumental analysis and human sensory perception. In addition, further value-adding constituents are analysed along the entire cocoa value chain. The research work is implemented with international and national partners from industry and science.
- Sensory analysis and consumer sciences
- The Research Group Food Perception is dealing with the identification, quantification and monitoring of sensory characteristics of cocoa and chocolate products. Using sensory analytical methods, detailed product characterizations are carried out and it is investigated how different raw materials and process parameters within the cocoa and chocolate value network influence the sensory quality of corresponding products. At the end-product level, it is investigated how different sensory product characteristics influence individual preferences and different consumer needs are evaluated.
- Development of innovative processes and products
- Optimization of cocoa bean processing, development of innovative products with focus on high cocoa content and research on the preservation and extraction of bioactive compounds in cocoa
- Analysis of regulative and normative requirements
- Research, publications, teaching and organization of conferences in Swiss and European food law as well as Incorporation of requirements at international level, e.g. ISO, into scientific activities.
- Social analysis
- Social impact analysis of cocoa cultivation & analysis of site suitability and of changes due to climate change (CONSUS)
- Life cycle assessment
- Quantification of resource consumption, climate impact, environmental footprint, and other environmental indicators along the full value chain, from cradle to grave.
- Data management and visualisation
- Mapping and analysing connected data as well as visualisation of complex data and intuitive user interfaces
- Centre for biochemical engineering and cell cultivation techniques
Generating a cocoa database as a tool for more transparency along the cocoa value chain.
From traditional techniques to functional microbial cultures for cocoa fermentation.
- Food Biotechnology Research Group: Prof. Dr. Susanne Miescher Schwenninger, Susette Freimüller Leischtfeld
- Food chemistry Research Group: Prof. Dr. Irene Chetschik
- Food perception Research Group: Annette Bongartz, Karin Chatelain
- Research Group for Food Process Design: Thomas Flüeler
- Quality Management and Food Law: Dr. Evelyn Kirchsteiger-Meier
- Data Management & Visualization: Dr. Robert Vorburger
- Biochemical Engineering and Cell Cultivation Techniques: Prof. Dr. Dieter Eibl