The present work analyzes the lipid fraction from seeds of wild Ecuadorian Theobroma subincanum and selected commercial varieties of Theobroma cacao from Mexico (var. Criollo) and Ecuador (var. Arriba). The lipid fraction was obtained from the seeds through supercritical fluid extraction and analysis performed by preparatory thin-layer chromatography followed by gas chromatography. The results revealed that in T. subincanum the triglycerides contain fatty acids with longer chains. The melting point and peroxide and saponifiable numbers were determined for each Theobroma sample. The results lead to the conclusion that T. subincanum would produce a poorer quality butter than T. cacao. Nevertheless, the results do point toward a significant commercial use of T. subincanum for low-profile products.
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