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Cocoa country of origin study

The cocoa industry is undergoing a transformation driven by increasing consumer demand for ethically sourced and sustainable products, prompting a shift towards more transparent and responsible supply chains.

The Details

The cocoa industry is currently facing challenges related to sustainability, including issues such as climate change, labor practices, and fluctuating market prices. Food fraud also remains a significant concern within the cocoa industry, with instances of adulteration and mislabeling impacting product integrity and consumer trust.

In 2022, Source Certain developed a study to demonstrate the ability of scientific provenance verification technology, TSW Trace, to verify the origin of commercially available raw cocoa and cocoa products.

Scientific provenance verification

TSW TraceĀ® is the proprietary scientific solution that underpins our provenance science services. It utilises trace element and stable isotope analysis to determine a unique chemical profile, or ā€˜signatureā€™, for a reference sample. The signature can be referenced at a later point to verify an origin claim for a product claiming to come from the same location as the original sample.

The Source Certain Technical Team engaged in extensive sourcing activity, incorporating samples from every major cacao-growing region in the world into this study.

A key outcome of this study includes a comprehensive database containing more than 2,200 up-to-date cocoa samples.

Rachel Scadding Chief Operations Officer Source Certain

Outcomes

  • Coverage of all major cocoa-producing countries across six continents.
  • The ability to analyse raw and processed cocoa (i.e. beans, nibs and chocolate).
  • Country-level verification was the priority for this program. The established database offers the basis to further build capability for verification requirements when exporting to the EU (EUDR due diligence verification).
  • The current capability (Country of Origin) is ready to use and is available for cocoa producers, chocolate manufacturers and retailers seeking a reliable and rapid origin verification service.

This study was supported by research conducted by Source Certain scientists in the late 2000’s.
Watling, R. J., et al. (2010). The Application of Solution and Laser Ablation Based ICP-MS and Solution Based AES for the Provenance Determination of Selected Food and Drink Produce. The Open Chemical and Biomedical Methods Journal, 3, 179-196.

This study was supported by research conducted by Source Certain scientists in the late 2000’s.

Watling, R. J., et al. (2010). The Application of Solution and Laser Ablation Based ICP-MS and Solution Based AES for the Provenance Determination of Selected Food and Drink Produce. The Open Chemical and Biomedical Methods Journal, 3, 179-196.

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