The Upcycling Story of Cacaofruit


Food waste is one of the most crucial environmental challenges of our time - more than 30% of food grown around the world each year doesn't get consumed. According to Project Drawdown, if the impact of food waste was measured as a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas producer after the U.S. and China. 

Scaled globally, food waste reduction is the climate change solution that would have the largest impact on CO2 emissions. Upcycled Foods play a key role in this reduction. 

"Upcycled Foods are ingredients that would not have otherwise gone to human consumption, procured and produced using verifiable supply chains to make a positive impact on the environment." UFA (Upcycled Foods Association)


Cacao trees grow in the tropical regions around the Equator, where the hot and humid climate encourages optimum growth. Grown from the trunks and branches of the cacao tree, the cacaofruit consists of peel, pulp, juice and seeds (beans). The seeds of the cacaofruit are processed to make chocolate. They represent only about 30% of the fruit composition and are surrounded by a juicy white flesh - the cacaofruit pulp. The cacaofruit itself is encased in a hard, thick husk or peel known as cascara. 

Cacaofruit comes in many varieties and colors ranging from green, yellow to orange or even red. Once ripe, the colorful fruits are carefully selected and harvested by hand. They're then cleaned and opened to remove the seeds from the fresh white pulp. 

Small remnants of the cacaofruit pulp are required to jumpstart the fermentation process the seeds must go through in order to develop chocolate's "chocolatey" flavor. However, not nearly all of the fleshy pulp is needed and the remaining juice typically gets pressed out and drained from the fermentation crates. 

This is where upcycling comes in! Our producer partners have developed a new method for capturing the cacaofruit juice while it drains, yielding greater profits for the farmers and greater refreshment for you, our customers. According to the UFA, upcycling cacaofruit industrywide would reduce the same amount of CO2 as planting 3.5 billion trees per year. Cheers to a better tomorrow, PA'LANTE!

Watch the video below to learn more: