The objective of this work was to determine the effect of storage period and temperature on the sensory quality of instant cocoa in the final period (the third quarter of a year) of its usefulness for consumption. The material investigated were three instant cocoa powders purchased in one shop after they had been stored for two quarters of the year; the instant cocoa powders investigated were manufactured by three various manufacturers. During the investigation, the products were stored in closed polyethylene packages, under no light conditions, and in a temperature of 7°C, 15°C, and 27°C. The sensory analysis included samples of instant cocoa powders and cocoa drinks made of them. A team of 13 trained persons carried out the sensory profile of the products investigated using a method of quantitative descriptive analysis (QDA). The cocoa powder was assessed with regard to its 7 quality factors (colour, attributes of smell, and homogeneity), whereas the cocoa drink was assessed according to its 12 quality factors (colour, attributes of smell and taste). The products were accessed during four independent sessions. The last investigation series was performed after the 3rd month of storing the products (the third quarter of the year), a few days before the end of the instant cocoa’s expire date. No statistically significant effect of storage time and temperature on the most characteristic and approving characteristics of both the cocoa powders and the cocoa drinks made of them were stated. However, it was proved that the storage duration during the period investigated, and the temperature had a statistically significant effect on the intensity of negative properties of the cocoa powders and drinks investigated. The impact of factors analysed as stated during the investigation could be probably attributed to a very low intensity of negative properties of each individual product. The investigation also confirmed the sensory stability of the instant cocoa analysed by the end of a period prolonged by 9 months after the cocoa’s date compared to the cocoa’s standard 6-month shelf life. During storage, no significant qualitative changes in cocoa powders and drinks were stated. However, it was stated that the initial sensory quality of cocoa powders varied whereas the initial quality of cocoa drinks did not.
instant cacao, sensory quality, storage