Cacao Field Testing Equipment Needed!

vincent mourou
03/23/11 05:32:53AM
5 posts

I will soon be heading to some cacao growing areas in SE Asia, and would like to get some recommendations for good quality/price cacao testing equipment such as a guillotine cross-section cutter, moisture meter, ph meter, refractometers, etc. What are some cost-effective models?

Thanks in advance for your advice and feedback.

Vincent Mourou-Rochebois

updated by @vincent-mourou: 04/09/15 06:05:15PM
03/23/11 05:14:42PM
754 posts

Depends on what you want to test:

Guillotine - at the level you're at, you'd only really be able to use it to get a feel for degree of fermentation. It will be useless to determine insect damage or mold at this stage. It's more of a qualitative test for fermentation, and not a terribly accurate one at that.

Moisture meter - get a dickey john portable, or an aquaboy with a small sample adapter. Good for rapid, nondestructive testing for moistures < 20% (good to quickly determine if drying is sufficient or not). Be prepared to spend a few hundred bucks.

pH meter. Lots of small hand held devices available. Question would be why do you want it? What is it you're measuring - pulp pH? Whole bean? And what would you do with the results - how would you use them? <$200. Get calibration fluids for 1, 5, 7 pH. You won't need alkaline.

Refractometer - similar to the handheld pH meter. What would you do with it, how would you use the results? < $200.

I'd start with identifying what parameters you want to control / track, then determine what equipment you need to do so.

03/23/11 06:35:02PM
754 posts
sorry, i misread your original post - i thought you said you were going to do some growing - disregard my comments on the guillotine - if you're evaluating beans that have already been processed (fermented, dried, stored), it will do those things. That's what i get for reading in a hurry - i'm off to origin myself today, actually.. in a bit of a hurry given all the packing and logistics i'm afraid...
Samuel Maruta
05/26/11 09:56:54AM
19 posts

You should ask Hans...

Orson V. Galvão
07/08/12 01:05:21AM
1 posts
plase, who is Mr. Hans?


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