Thursday 26 June 2008

The Lessons of the Cocoa Genome

Good to hear the boffins are busy decoding the cocoa genome. I'm no geneticist (you guessed!), but, by the look of it, cocoa is one fabulously complex substance genetically - as, I believe, is rice - whereas we humans turned out to be disappointingly simple, with a mere 20,000 or so protein-coding genes. This kind of information I find strangely cheering. .. Anyway, if all this effort results in richer cocoa farmers (don't hold your breath out there) and better tasting chocolate, that's fine. But will it - will anything - make Hershey produce a substance resembling chocolate, rather than paraffin-scented brown chalk?

1 comment:

  1. This is a good development, and not just if you like chocolate. Apparently, science doesn't know much about cocoa, even though it's really important to the economies in Africa and latin America. It also is important to the US economy -- for every dollar's worth of cocoa imported into the US, between one and two dollars' worth of domestic agricultural products are used to make chocolate bars and chocolate bunnies and so on. If the manufacturers can keep the taste at a high level -- and there's not too many BAD chocolates, in my opinion -- then this could help more than just chocoholics.