Cocoa presents a high fat content and a unique fatty acid profile defining its technological and nutritional properties. This study evaluated the fat content and fatty acid composition of Nacional cocoas, a worldwide recognised “fine” variety, collected in 85 Ecuadorian farms while taking into account 3 geographical levels (region, province, and canton). The total fat content varied from 45.61 ± 1.27 to 52.13 ± 0.58 g/100 g DW and was higher in the provinces and cantons from the Amazonian region than in those from the Pacific Coast region. A remarkable effect of the region and the province was shown on the content of individual fatty acids of Nacional cocoa beans. Total amounts of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids also depended on the growing area. Multivariate analysis provided a comprehensive assessment of the cocoa fat composition according to the origin, which may be useful for the selection of cocoas with specific technological and nutritional characteristics.
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