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Valorization of Mexican varieties of cacao: Characterization and evaluation of the impact of process in the chocolate sensory profile

ABG-100542 Thesis topic
2021-10-13 Other public funding
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Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
Querétaro - Mexico
Valorization of Mexican varieties of cacao: Characterization and evaluation of the impact of process in the chocolate sensory profile
  • Biotechnology
  • Agronomy, agri food
Mexican cacao varieties, metabolomic evaluation, process impact, chocolate sensory profile

Topic description

Cocoa beans are the key raw material for the production of chocolate, a confectionery product with unique sensory characteristics. From the 22 species of Theobroma, endemics from the center- and sud-America, Theobroma cacao is the only commercial cultured species, including cultivars such as "Criollo" and "Forastero". Nevertheless, there are other species still in the domestication process, such as Theobroma bicolor Humb. & Bonpl, also know as "pataxte". The "pataxte" is the wild progenitor of common cacao and is scarcely used as raw material in chocolate production due to the lack of information about the culture establishment and postharvest handling.

The Theobroma species has been characterized by its chemical and nutraceutical composition, which includes antioxidants, sugars and organic acids, among others, that place it within the so-called superfood. Therefore, a detailed study of its components will lead to the knowledge, valorization, use and commercialization of the species produced in Mexico, in addition to the fact that currently there has been an interest in single-origin chocolates that have characteristic sensory traces; therefore, the investigation of this species constitutes a topic of great relevance.

The present study focuses mainly on the chemical and nutraceutical characteristics of the grain and the manufacturing processes of chocolate produced from different samples of the Mexican Theobroma species and considers the effect of roasting and refining in the formation of the sensory profile of the chocolate.

Starting date


Funding category

Other public funding

Funding further details

Scholarship by CONACyT (Mexican ministry of science and technology, according to its regulations).

Presentation of host institution and host laboratory

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

The Nutriomics and Emerging technologies research group of Tecnologico de Monterrey, is a National scale research group. Researchers of the Bioengineering department on campus Querétaro, part of this research group, works in different research lines focused in de development of nutraceutical foods, its characterization, and its process and preservation.


For this call, Teresita Martín del Campo, PhD, (Core Researcher) is recruting two candidates to work in this research line.

PhD title

Ph. D. in Biotechnology (DBT)

Country where you obtained your PhD


Institution awarding doctoral degree

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Graduate school

Candidate's profile

Candidates must possess a bachelor's and a master degree in life sciences, engineering, or bio-related areas, equivalent to a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 90/100; to have sufficient background in biochemistry, cellular biology, and engineering fundamentals at a basic level and fulfill all the requisites or their equivalents.

To apply for admission, applicants must submit the institutional documents, in addition to those specifically required by the graduate program

  1. Obtain a score required for the program in the TOEFL English proficiency test.
  2. Take the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Graduate Admission Test (PAEP test) and obtain the score required for the program or a score equivalent in other tests authorized by the Institution.
  3. Take 3 exams of background knowledge in the field of study.  
  4. Initial interview with a research professor who will serve as their thesis director to obtain a letter of support
  5. Academic interview with the program director. 
  6. Submit the admission application together with all the documentation required.  
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