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Chocolate industry generates yearly large quantities of cacao wastes. These by-products pose to the manufacturers’ difficulties for disposal and represent also valuable sources of substances: polysaccharides, polyphenols, etc. The aim of the present work was to characterize cacao waste and search for possible food applications. The waste was investigated for total polyphenol content (5.86±0.39 mg GAE/g dry weight (DW)), flavonoids (0.77±0.02 mg QE/g DW), total dietary fibers (63.58±1.25% DW), proteins (15.80±0.11% DW), and hexane-soluble substances (13.39±0.08% DW). The antioxidant activity, evaluated by DPPH and FRAP (82.82±1.72 and 31.13±0.70 mM TE/g DW waste, respectively) suggested that cacao waste had potential as antioxidant supplement. The most abundant essential amino acids were lysine, tyrosine and phenylalanine: 8.55±0.19, 7.32±0.13 and 6.32±0.11 g/100g protein, respectively. Extraction with water, 50% and 96% ethanol was performed and it was found that the highest amount of polyphenols (and hence higher antioxidant activity) was extracted with 50% ethanol.The results from the analysis suggested that the cacao waste was a rich source of valuable substances and on that basis liqueurs with substituted cacao powder and waste Rosa damascena were prepared. The test panel suggested that the cacao husks were a promising constituent for low-alcoholic beverages.
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