Genetic Improvement (Breeding)
The MCCS has over 600 varieties of cocoa in its collection, almost 100% of the cocoa diversity in the world.
The improvement program selects the best crosses in order to increase productivity, improve resistance to disease (Witches’ broom, Ceratocystis wilt, and Black Pod), and preserve the quality of the cocoa beans.
The MCCS researches the cocoa fermentation process, which is essential in improving the flavor of the chocolate.
With a state-of-the-art analytical chemistry lab, the MCCS distinguishes cocoa’s chemical properties in order to understand the composition of the bean and the differences between the varieties.
Cocoa Tree Propagation – In-Vitro Culture
In the in-vitro culture lab we can propagate several identical cocoa plants from a single flower. The process is called somatic embryogenesis.
The experiments in genetic selection are made through the association with other crops, such as Genipapo (Genipa americana), Pineapple, Papaya, Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) and forestry species from the Atlantic Forest. This allows us to demonstrate to the farmer that it is possible to produce much more than only cocoa in his farm.