Sometimes shipped with a franchise to allow for normal shrinkage. Cocoa beans are usually given a natural fermentation, mainly to facilitate removal of the pulp. If allowed to retain over 9% moisture, mildew will develop. Cocoa made from such affected beans will have a musty flavor. It is rarely possible to eliminate all moisture from the beans before shipment and during the voyage and so they may be subject to a loss in weight. Beans which have not been properly dried may turn moldy in transit, and if this surface mold cannot be satisfactorily removed the beans may have to be used for a less valuable product than for which they were originally purchased, i.e. Cocoa Butter. Damage to cocoa in the country of origin, prior to shipment, may not be noticeable from the external appearance of the bags, but should be established on sampling. Country damaged cocoa is usually of gray appearance and internally moldy. On arrival at destination, bags should be stored in a dry place and, in the event of water damage, cocoa should be reconditioned without delay. Cocoa Beans are also liable to infestation by worms, which depreciates their value, the chocolate manufactured from them itself being liable to damage by worms. Loss in color of the shell through external interference may only affect the shell itself, leaving the beans sound. Some beans, if shipped in a damp condition, may have a tendency to lose color and become white.
In certain circumstances, where damage by sweat is encountered and the receivers are only prepared to accept the cocoa with considerable allowances, it may be possible to obtain a better result by separating the damaged beans to be sold separately, and delivering the sound portion to the receivers.
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