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What Does Cocoa Fruit Taste Like?

The Cocoa Fruit 

A fact that may surprise many is that chocolate starts in a fruit filled with a delicious white pulp that tastes nothing like chocolate. While most people are familiar with the famous cocoa beans, cocoa fruit pulp often goes unnoticed – a hidden gem with unique properties. 

So what does cocoa fruit pulp taste like?

Let’s explore that question and discover its similarities with other fruits, along with its numerous health benefits. After that, we’ll share some ideas for ideal food and drink pairings with cocoa fruit pulp and show you where you can buy cocoa fruit pulp ingredients.

Cocoa fruit pulp can produce a refreshing juice beverage.

The Surprising Taste of Cocoa Fruit Pulp

What cocoa fruit pulp tastes like.

Cocoa fruit pulp has a delightful combination of intense sweetness and exotic acidity, offering not only a tropical and refreshing taste, but also adding depth and complexity to the creations that use it. The first taste of cocoa fruit pulp usually elicits an emphatic ‘Oh my gosh!’.

Most people don’t expect cocoa fruit pulp and chocolate to be so different.

One of the most surprising aspects of cocoa fruit pulp is how different it tastes compared to the chocolate we all know and love. While chocolate has those deep, earthy flavours and sometimes a bit of bitterness, cocoa fruit pulp gives you something completely different. It’s light, fruity, and almost like a citrusy treat. It’s like discovering a whole new side to cocoa that you never knew existed.

Cocoa Fruit Pulp Compared To Other Fruits

The taste compared to other fruits

Cocoa fruit pulp tastes like a medley of sweet and tangy notes, reminiscent of exotic sun-kissed fruits. It’s most often compared to the taste of lychee. Much like lychee, renowned for its sweet and floral essence, cocoa fruit pulp gives hints of apricot, peach, elderflower, honey, and citrus, offering a diverse range of exotic flavours. Notably, compared to other fruit juices such as pineapple, cocoa fruit juice boasts a heightened level of sweetness, further enriching its delightful profile. 

The health benefits compared to other fruits

Beyond its addicting flavour, cocoa fruit pulp offers three main health benefits that set it apart from other fruits: potassium, magnesium, and dietary fibre. Potassium and magnesium are vital for maintaining optimal health, helping regulate blood pressure and supporting heart, muscles, and nerve functions. Dietary fibre promotes digestive health, regulates bowel movements, and aids in weight management. Believe it or not, cocoa fruit juice has more of these three nutrients than lychee juice, coconut water, grape juice, apple juice, or orange juice. The pulp also has more potassium than bananas, more magnesium than spinach, and more antioxidants than blueberries, red wine, or even pomegranates.

What Cocoa Fruit Pairs With

Cocoa fruit pairs well with a variety of food and drink creations thanks to its versatile flavour profile, technical benefits, and unique product story

Flavour pairings

Cocoa fruit pairs well with various flavours and dishes. From sweet desserts, to savoury starters, to beverages, cocoa fruit adds a unique and delightful twist to a wide range of recipes. 

Imagine indulging in a velvety chocolate cake topped with a layer of cocoa fruit-infused ganache – a harmonious blend of rich chocolate and tropical sweetness. Dark chocolate in particular benefits from a fascinating aroma that intrigues even seasoned chocolatiers, like Kevin Kugel. The smooth taste of the pulp also pairs well with creamy creations like sorbets.

While sweet applications are common, cocoa fruit pulp also does well as a savoury ingredient. Picture a fresh ceviche or sushi elevated with the addition of cocoa fruit juice, imparting a refreshing hint of tropical zest to the dish. Or, imagine a light summery salad with a delicious dressing made from concentrated cocoa fruit juice, adding an exotic flavour dimension to the dish.

Cocoa fruit juice also beautifully complements the bitterness of alcohol, creating a pleasant blend of fruity sweetness accompanied by a rejuvenating acidity. It pairs excellently with bitter alcohols such as Campari, Gin, or Dry Prosecco, offering a delightful contrast of flavours. Moreover, cocoa fruit juice is a natural sweetener for enhancing products such as spritzers or cocktails. It imparts a smooth flavour profile to the drink, while its acidity adds a refreshing zing, making it an ideal ingredient for creating vibrant and refreshing drinks for any season.

When considering flavour pairings, cocoa fruit shines brightest when paired with complementary flavours, as its delicate profile might be overshadowed by robust tastes.

An abstract visualisation of the taste experience of cocoa fruit. It starts off with a wave of exotic sweetness, followed by an acidic, tart, and smooth mouthfeel.

Technical Pairings

Cocoa fruit juice serves as an excellent and inspiring base for fermented products. Its sugar composition and quantity closely resemble that of grape juice, which enables the production of classic fermented drinks such as wine, champagne, and vinegar. For instance, VomFass’ Cacao Fruit Balsamic Vinegar is a prime example of this application. These fermented creations retain the classic characteristics of their counterparts while introducing refreshing, fruity flavours with a tropical twist. Additionally, the yeast used in wine and champagne fermentation thrives exceptionally well in cocoa fruit juice.

Cocoa fruit pulp is also exceptionally rich in natural pectins, which contribute to its stabilising and gelling properties. These pectins are particularly valuable in the preparation of creams, jams, and ganaches. They can also induce and stabilise turbidity in sodas or juices. While lychee juice is similar in flavour, the pectins in cocoa fruit juice make the latter the superior choice for Tilo Herber, Chef Patissier of Park Hyatt in Zurich, who makes a delightful cocoa fruit sorbet atop a cheesecake.

Additionally, dried cocoa fruit pulp serves as a natural alternative to white sugar. Being less processed, it maintains its nutritional characteristics. You can substitute white sugar with dried cocoa fruit pulp in your recipes, though be aware that it may affect the texture of your final product.

Product Story

As cocoa fruit pulp is repurposed as an upcycled ingredient, it makes a positive contribution to the environment in any creation where this fruit pulp is used. 

Uniquely, Koa’s cocoa fruit ingredients are sourced exclusively from thousands of smallholder farmers in Ghana, rather than large plantations in South America where only a few benefit. This promotes social impact in West Africa where 77% of the world’s cocoa comes from. Thanks to this partnership, the smallholder farmers we work with earn an additional income, which they receive on the same day as production. This supports the farmers’ various needs, such as paying for school fees, medical expenses, infrastructure projects, and entrepreneurial undertakings.

We also offer a scannable QR code that brings you to a blockchain-based platform, allowing you to see payments to farmers in real time. By allowing direct insights into the transactions between the company and the farmers, we’re working to redefine transparency in the supply chain.

Where To Buy Cocoa Fruit Pulp

Our cocoa fruit pulp products

Indulge in the world of cocoa fruit pulp products, designed to not only elevate the world of gastronomy but also cater to the discerning needs of industry professionals.

Gastronomy Professionals

We offer a variety of cocoa fruit pulp products to cater for different culinary preferences. Whether you’re a chocolatier, confectionery expert, ice cream artisan, bakery master or mixologist, Koa Pure cocoa fruit juice or Koa Flakes dried cocoa fruit pulp (with or without cocoa powder) can give your dishes a refreshing and exotic taste, offering a new twist to various recipes. Here’s where you can purchase them: 

Germany and Austria:

Confis-Express: Confis-Express is a German supplier that caters to confectioners, pastry chefs, chocolatiers, bakers, and all those with a passion for finesse. Trusted by top establishments for 25 years, Confis-Express offers more than 10,000 products, with many available for delivery within 24 hours.


Felchlin: Felchlin has been the leading producer of noble Swiss chocolate and semi-finished products for more than a hundred years. Felchlin works directly with cacao farmers and partners around the world to ensure their standards of quality, transparency and sustainability are met throughout all our processes, from cacao planting to our finished products.


Maison de Métiers de Bouche (MDMB): French distributor Maison des Métiers de Bouche offers quality products for gastronomy professionals, especially for demanding chocolatiers and patissiers.

The Netherlands

Vanilla Venture: Since its foundation, Vanilla Venture has been the market leader and a leading supplier of high-quality gourmet products in the Netherlands. Vanilla Venture offers delicatessen and fresh products for the quality-conscious gastronomy. The products are sourced from small, authentic producers worldwide. Vanilla Venture focuses on organic and ethically sound products.

Industry Professionals

Our dedication to culinary innovation extends to a wide array of industry professionals, encompassing large drink companies, ice cream manufacturers, chocolate producers, and beyond within the Food & Beverage industry. 

From the pure essence of cocoa fruit juice, Koa Pure, to dried cocoa fruit Koa Powder (with or without cocoa powder) and Koa Concentrate (50° and 72° Brix) – each product is carefully developed to support culinary professionals in various fields. Get in touch with us today to discover how you can seamlessly integrate cocoa fruit pulp into your products or request a sample with the Sample Request button on the bottom of your screen. 

In summary, cocoa fruit pulp is a tasty, versatile ingredient in its many forms. Whether used in gastronomy or an industry product, cocoa fruit offers a surprising taste, notable health benefits, and diverse culinary possibilities. What’s more, cocoa fruit is inherently vegan-friendly, making it an ideal choice for individuals following plant-based diets. Whether you prefer the pulp as a juice, crispy dried flakes, or honey-like concentrates, you can create something that tastes amazing and positively impacts people and the planet.

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