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CRC is committed to providing training (on-demand or scheduled) to empower researchers, farmers and other stakeholders, and share the technological knowledge and skills necessary for the survival of the local and global cocoa industry.

Training is currently provided in the following (click each option for more details):

How do you make good chocolate?

Interested in learning more?

Consider our Introductory Chocolate Making class which can be followed by our Advanced class and sensory classes.

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INTRODUCTORY CHOCOLATE MAKING COURSE (A FIVE-DAY SHORT COURSE)

Pre-requisites: None

Course Description: The introductory chocolate making course offers the theoretical and practical building blocks for effectively crafting dark chocolate from fine or flavour cocoa beans.  Students gain an understanding of the impact initial cocoa bean quality has on the chocolate they make, key chocolate making theory, as well as, economic and social considerations in the bean to bar chocolate making business. Opportunities for developing and building a chocolate brand are discussed as well as, packaging concepts and marketing opportunities with a group project to design a chocolate wrapper.   The course also involves a ½ day field trip to a cocoa field to reinforce the bean to bar connection.

Resources: Access to training space, chocolate laboratory and chocolate making equipment.  Consumables including cocoa beans, cocoa butter, lecithin, consumables for sensory analysis, printing services and office support.  Provision of breaks.

 

ADVANCED CHOCOLATE MAKING COURSE (A FIVE-DAY SHORT COURSE)

Pre-requisites:  Introductory Chocolate Making Course and persons who have skills/experience in making chocolate either from bean to bar or chocolate on an industrial scale.

Course Description: This course offers an advanced theoretical and practical treatment of chocolate making, as well as, further product options with chocolate as a follow on from the Introduction to chocolate making course.  Tempering is revisited with milk and white chocolate making.  Principles and practices in the preparation of ganache, as well as, filling of shells to create a variety of pralines, truffles and bonbons are explored.  Different chocolate moulding and coating techniques are taught and demonstrated to highlight artistry in chocolate making. Guest talks by specially invited chefs and chocolatiers are also part of the programme with a more advanced treatment of sensory (flavour and aroma) analysis.

Resources: Access to training space, chocolate laboratory and chocolate making equipment.  Cocoa beans, cocoa butter, lecithin, consumables for chocolate products and sensory analysis, printing services and office support.  Provision of breaks.

 

INTRODUCTION TO COCOA SENSORY ANALYSIS (A FIVE-DAY SHORT COURSE)

Pre-requisites:  No pre-requisites
Course Description: The course offers a general introduction to the history, concepts, principles, and practices of sensory analysis with a focus on cocoa liquor and chocolate. The protocols for panelist screening, basic facilities and environment for sensory analysis are discussed with practical exercises on basic tastes identification and recognition with intensity scaling of core and ancillary flavours, as well as, the major off flavours in cocoa liquor and chocolate assessments.  Sample preparation and basic data handling are discussed with sessions dedicated to distinguishing positive and negative aromas in cocoa liquor and relating them to common defects. At the end of the course the participants will be able to assess cocoa beans and liquors for basic quality.

Resources: Access to training space, chocolate laboratory and chocolate making equipment, Consumables for sensory and aroma analysis, printing services and office support. Provision of lunch and breaks.

DNA tools can help farmers and managers to get the most out of their cocoa plantations. One of the basic applications of DNA tools is in the correct identification of varieties through DNA fingerprinting.

DNA FINGERPRINTING OF COCOA (THEORY AND PRACTICE) (FIVE DAY SHORT COURSE FOR FARM MANAGERS, TECHNICIANS AND TRAINERS)

Pre-requisite: No pre-requisites

Course description: Introduction to the origin and domestication of cocoa.  Definition of cocoa populations, cocoa landraces, hybrids.  Introduction to DNA structure and properties.  Approaches to DNA fingerprinting – genome wide methodologies vs sequence specific approaches.  Method and approaches to DNA isolation from cocoa tissue (practical).  Assessing the quality of isolated DNA for downstream applications (practical).  Introduction to polymerase chain reaction and real-time PCR.  Using genome wide approaches to fingerprint DNA.  Principles and methods of gel electrophoresis and recording the results.  Phylogenetic analysis.  Principles of fingerprinting based on RFLP, SSR and SNPS.  Practicals on SNP-based DNA fingerprinting.  At the end of the course, students will be able to understand the theoretical and practical methods in DNA fingerprinting.

(plant propagation and grafting)

Regional interest in cocoa propagation techniques sparked the creation of a Train the trainer programme to assist countries. This programme is a custom fit to meet the demands of the client. Grenada, for instance, requested a three-day in country visit to demonstrate grafting and budding techniques. more info. here

Ministry officials from Dominica on the other hand, requested a visit to the Centre in Trinidad for a more in depth look at propagation and other techniques to improve overall productivity.

 

MORPHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISATION OF COCOA VARIETIES (THEORY AND PRACTICE) (FOUR DAY SHORT COURSE FOR FARM MANAGERS, TECHNICIANS AND TRAINERS)

Pre-requisite: No pre-requisites

Course description

  • Introduction to the origin and domestication of cocoa. 
  • Taxonomy of cocoa, introduction to cocoa populations, cocoa landraces, hybrids.
  • Historical collections and the establishment of genebanks. 
  • Historical and contemporary approaches to the study of cocoa systematics. 
  • Concept of descriptors and the determination of a standardized descriptor shortlist.
  • Sampling descriptor traits in the field. 
  • Laboratory recording of descriptors. 
  • Statistical treatment of data. 
  • Introduction to molecular taxonomy.  

At the end of the course, students will be able to characterise cocoa genotypes based on pod, flower and other vegetative descriptors.

PEST AND DISEASE MANAGEMENT IN COCOA FARMS
(FOUR DAY SHORT COURSE FOR FARM MANAGERS, TECHNICIANS AND TRAINERS)

Pre-requisite: No pre-requisites

Course description: Importance and role of pest and diseases in cocoa production.   Introduction to major pest and diseases affecting cocoa – rodents, parrots, borers, witches’ broom disease, black pod disease and frosty pod disease.  Other minor diseases.  Practical sessions on the identification of the various pests and diseases – symptomology.  Causal agent and life cycle and principles of management.  Threats of new diseases and pests and approaches to prevention of diseases. Surveillance methodologies to determine the prevalence and severity of infection (practicals). Integrated management of pest and diseases including the use of resistant planting material, cultural and agronomic approaches.  Use of chemical (insecticides, fungicides) and biological (biopesticides) approaches within an integrated management framework. The use of CRC innovations in the control of cocoa diseases and pests.  At the end of the course, students will be able to identify the pest and disease of cocoa, determine the level of intensity and severity in the field and manage the diseases in a cost-effective manner using appropriate integrated pest management approaches.

 

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