Effect of roasting conditions on cocoa bioactivity and gut microbiota modulation
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AuthorMaldonado Mateus, Lida Yaneth; Pérez Burillo, Sergio; Hinojosa Nogueira, Daniel José; Rufián Henares, José Ángel; Pastoriza de la Cueva, Silvia
Royal Society of Chemistry
Food Funct., 2021, Advance Article. DOI: [10.1039/d1fo01155c]
Sponsorship"Plan propio de Investigacion y Transferencia" of the University of Granada; European Research Commission (Research Executive Agency) under the research project Stance4Health 816303
Cocoa is a highly consumed food with beneficial effects on human health. Cocoa roasting has an important influence on its sensory and nutritional characteristics; therefore, roasting could also play a role in cocoa bioactivity. Thus, the aim of this paper is to unravel the effect of cocoa roasting conditions on its antioxidant capacity and modifications of gut microbiota after in vitro digestion-fermentation. HMF and furfural, chemical markers of non-enzymatic browning, were analyzed in unroasted and roasted cocoa powder at different temperatures, as well as different chocolates. The antioxidant capacity decreased with roasting, most probably due to the loss of phenolic compounds during heating. In the case of the evaluated chocolates, the antioxidant capacity was 2–3 times higher in the fermented fraction. On the other hand, HMF and furfural content increased during roasting due to increasing temperatures. Moreover, unroasted and roasted cocoa powder have different effects on gut microbial communities. Roasted cocoa favored butyrate production, whereas unroasted cocoa favored acetate and propionate production in a significant manner. In addition, unroasted and roasted cocoa produced significantly different gut microbial communities in terms of composition. Although many bacteria were affected, Veillonella and Faecalibacterium were some of the most discriminant ones; whereas the former is a propionate producer, the latter is a butyrate producer that has also been linked to positive effects on the inflammatory health of the gut and the immune system. Therefore, unroasted and roasted cocoa (regardless of the roasting temperature) promote different bacteria and a different SCFA production.