Growing Country Introductory Certificate in Cacao Evaluation and Flavour Profiling

About the course

The IICCT Special Certificate in Cacao Evaluation and Flavour Profiling for Cacao Growing Regions is a professional training course suitable for members or staff of cacao cooperatives, commercial operations and technical or development organisations who wish to develop a deeper understanding of flavour in fine cacao, and for chocolate makers producing chocolate in cacao growing countries.

The Cacao Evaluation course will develop the sensory skills needed to assess cacao quality through its flavour and show how creating flavour and cultural origin profiles can be used to market fine cacao.

The Special Growing country version includes developing an understanding of the flavour potential of local cacao and how to improve quality through flavour profiling of cacao and chocolate.

Entry requirements

None. The Special Course is recommended for technical staff, cacao growers and chocolate makers already working in the field.

What's included


  • sensory preparation – understand how the different senses apply when tasting
  • creating and understanding cacao evaluation profiles
  • recognising cacao post-harvest defects through tasting


  • understanding the science of tasting and how this can be used in cacao quality
  • review of common approaches to flavour profiling
  • training in use of the IICCT electronic evaluation system and paper equivalents


  • understanding how cacao flavour is translated into chocolate flavour
  • learn about chocolate production techniques at different scales, from micro-batch to large-scale industrial and how these influence flavour


  • examine technical criteria for evaluating cacao and their relation to flavour and cacao value
  • quality control of post-harvest development through evaluation


  • quality control of fine cacao for market development
  • marketing through flavour
  • working with small chocolate makers, adapting the supply chain
  • direct sourcing with farmers to market fine cacao to new markets


  • the course will be assessed with a multiple choice exam and a tasting assessment
Who should take this course?

This special course is suitable for:

  • members cacao cooperatives
  • staff working in commercial operations
  • staff working in technical or development organisations
  • chocolate makers producing chocolate in cacao growing countries