8. Round Table Cocoa Hamburg
A quality vision for the future
Sponsored by the German cocoa and chocolate foundation

Returning to the former Institute of Applied Botany (University of Hamburg), the place where the Round Table Cocoa Hamburg had been founded 14 years ago, the 2017 Edition has been an enormous success that even exceeded the expectations of the Organizing Committee.

With 140 delegates, the number of participants was twice as high as in 2015. New features like the Podium Discussion strengthened the “Round Table Character” of the symposium.

This was underlined especially by the numerous contributions from the audience. The Organizing Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation and your contributions.

They have been the key to the success of the 7th Round Table Cocoa. We also want to express our appreciation to the German Cocoa and Chocolate Foundation and to our Sponsors.

Without their continuous support, this enormous on-going development of the Round Table Cocoa Hamburg would not have been possible.


We are happy to welcome you at the 8th Round Table Cocoa Hamburg



Traditionally, a special focus will be on cocoa bean quality. In this context, Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt from the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA will present the current knowledge on cocoa genetic diversity and how it can be used for sourcing.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann from the Technical University Munich will also pick up this topic, but on the basis of the biochemical composition of cocoa bean samples from producing countries worldwide. Of particular interest will be the sensory-active substances. Themed in detail are also biochemical and quality changes along the processing chain, the development of an international standard for cocoa sensory evaluation, off-flavors, mineral oil residues, cadmium and mycotoxins. Main emphasis will also be put on primary post-harvest processing.

Dr. Susanne Miescher from the Zürcher University of Applied Sciences will show how starter cultures stabilize the fermentation process, avoiding malfermentation. Newly developed fermentation equipment from Brazil, that also enables increased process control, will be presented.

Dr. Christian Bunn from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture will report on climatic changes expected within the next decades in the main producing regions and the impact on cocoa production. Planting systems and management techniques minimizing the negative impact will be presented. The key function, which cocoa genetic diversity has regarding climate change resilience, will be highlighted by Prof. Path Umaharan from the Cocoa Research Center. The genetic diversity can also be used to minimize cadmium bioaccumulation in cocoa. Classical approaches as well as latest techniques such as CRISPR/Ca, which are used in this context, will be presented by Prof. Jim Dunwell from the University of Reading. During the evening lecture on the first day, Tony Lass from the Cocoa Research Association UK will inform about the new conservation strategy for cocoa genetic diversity and how this diversity can be used more efficiently in breeding projects.

On June 12th from 5pm on, a Get Together is organized in the Gröninger private brewery: https://www.groeninger-hamburg.de/english/ If you would like to participate, please inform me directly via email: daniel.kadow@rundertischkakao.de 

I also would like to draw your attention to the Cocotea 2019 that will be held from June 26th to 28th in Bremen. The Cocotea is a scientific congress, offering an inter-disciplinary arena to enable scientists to discuss different aspects of the world of Coffee, Cocoa and Tea and to share innovative scientific achievements: www.cocotea2019.com



Representatives from leading universities are speaking in 2019 about current research topics. This years key topics are cocoa bean quality, post-harvest treatment and planting systems for the future.

Cocoa bean quality

  • Off-flavors in cocoa and chocolate
  • Taste- and aroma-active substance based quality evaluation
  • The development of an international standard for cocoa sensory evaluation
  • Strategies to minimize cadmium contamination
  • Impact of transportation conditions

Primary post-harvest processing

  • Taste and aroma-based steering of the fermentation process
  • Impact of drying on taste and aroma attributes Einfluss des Trocknungsprotokolls auf das sensorische Profil
  • Off-flavor development during fermentation and drying

Planting systems for the future

  • Cocoa cultivation and climate change: immediate, intermediate and long term solutions
  • Impact of climate change on cocoa bean quality
  • CSSV, BP, FP and WB: strategies towards a multiple disease tolerance
  • Cocoa genetic diversity: taste- and aroma-focused breeding approaches

Impressions 2017

  • Wolf Kropp-Büttner
  • Auditorium
  • Prof. Thomas Hofmann
  • Prof. Pathmanathan Umaharan
  • Prof. Reinhard Matissek
  • Networking
  • Abendveranstaltung im NRV
  • Podiumsdiskussion

Speakers 2019

Representatives of leading universities and companies

Foto Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann

Technical University of Munich

Food Chemistry and Molecular Sensory Science

Foto Prof. Dr. Pathmanathan Umaharan

Prof. Dr. Pathmanathan Umaharan

University of the West Indies

Cocoa Research Center

Foto Monika Schneider

Monika Schneider

Systems Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)

Cocoa Agroforestry

Foto PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus

PD Dr. Martin Steinhaus

Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich

Sensory Systems Chemistry Leibniz-Institute for Food Systems Biology

Foto Dr. Wolfgang Weber

Dr. Wolfgang Weber

General Manager

Institut für Produktqualität ifp

Dr. Susanne Miescher Schwenninger

Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

Head of Research Group Food Biotechnology & Lecturer, at Institute of Food and Beverage Innovation

Picture Tony Lass

Tony Lass MBE

Chairman of the Cocoa Research Association Ltd./UK


Picture Prof. Dr. Matthias S. Ullrich

Prof. Dr. Matthias S. Ullrich

Jacobs University Bremen/Germany

Dept. Life Sciences and Chemistry

Picture Lyndel W. Meinhardt

Lyndel W. Meinhardt, Research Leader , Ph.D.

USDA/ARS Sustainable Perennial Crops Lab, Beltsville, MD/USA



sessions, panel discussions




welcome address


„Genetic diversity of Theobroma cacao: what we know now and its potential for sourcing”

Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, USDA


„High-throughput sensometabolome mapping of the cocoa value chain: Novel approaches for raw material selection, process optimization and authenticity control “

Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann / Andreas Dunkel, TUM


„Proteome and peptidome research in cocoa: What determines taste and quality parameters?“

Prof. Dr. Matthias Ullrich, Jacobs University


Poster Slam 1

Key topics: cocoa bean ingredients, cocoa bean quality, analytical tools


Poster Session and Lunch Break


“Development of International Standards for Cocoa Quality and Flavour Assessment – update and next steps”

Brigitte Laliberté, Bioversity international
Spotlight Talk


“Climate-relevant and low cadmium innovations to promote sustainable cacao production in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru”

Dr. Mirjam Pulleman, CIAT
Spotlight Talk


„Molecular Genetic Approaches to Reducing Cadmium Accumulation in Cacao.”

Prof. Dr. Jim Dunwell, University of Reading
Spotlight Talk


Poster Session and Coffee Break


„Leveraging genetic resources to build resilience against biotic and abiotic stresses”

Prof. Dr. Path Umaharan, Cocoa Research Center


„Why must our industry ensure the preservation of cocoa genetic diversity?”

Tony Lass MBE, CRA UK
Evening Lecture


End of day one


Round Table Dinner at the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV)

Schöne Aussicht 37, 22085 Hamburg


welcome address


„Off-flavors in cocoa: identification of the causative compounds“

Dr. Martin Steinhaus, Leibniz Institute


“Starter cultures with anti-fungal properties for the cocoa bean fermentation - a concept with great potential”

Dr. Susanne Miescher Schwenninger, ZHAW


Poster Session and Coffee Break


"Development from Brazil: Presentation of a controllable cocoa post-harvest proceeding, with protocol."

Norberto Hess, UESC
Spotlight Talk


„Do foils containing plastic recyclate affect the result of the cocoa postharvest process? Increase in sources of contamination?“

Christa Schuster-Salas, Cocoa and more
Spotlight Talk


“Main sources of MOH contamination and entry points into the cocoa supply chain“

Michiel Kokken, OLAM
Spotlight Talk


Poster Slam 2

Key Topics: fermentation / off-flavors / contaminants / climate change


lPoster Session and Lunch Break


„How can the cocoa industry systematically support evidence based adaptation to climate change? A pragmatic approach to solve a complex problem.”

Dr. Christian Bunn, CIAT


“The pollination deficit in cocoa production”

Dr. Lynn Dicks, University of East Anglia
Spotlight Talk (to be confirmed)


„Possibilities with cocoa plantation design – from monocrop to agroforestry – and management to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and form carbon sinks. Insights and knowledge gaps.“

Monika Schneider, FIBL


Podium Discussion

A Quality Vision for the Future


farewell and end of the event


Latest findings from cocoa research and current challenges of the cocoa sector have been presented convincingly and practice-oriented.Felix Inderbitzin
Max Felchlin AG
The Round Table Cocoa Hamburg is an ideal platform for Research and Industry, to jointly discuss current topics.Nadine Barz
SGS Germany GmbH
The exchange between Research and Industry helps bringing latest research results into application and guarantees that jointly initiated research projects are highly practice-oriented.Viktoria Cvetkovic
AiF Arbeitsgemeinschaft industrieller Forschungsvereinigungen

Runder Tisch Kakao

Networking platform

Meet the most important members of the international cocoa business.

Recent scientific progress

Get up to date about the recent German and international scientific cocoa projects

Main research topics in the future

Where will the journey lead us? Use the opportunity and discuss recent problems!

New research projects

Be part oft he process when new research projects are initiated!


We are happy to welcome you to register for the 8th Round Table Cocoa in Hamburg.
And here you can submit your poster for the poster session for validation.

Please fill in the order form



participant fee: 400 Euro (300 for every additional participant), including all benefits



participant fee: 150 Euro, including all benefits



participant fee 20 Euro, including all benefits

Patronat and main sponsor

Strategic Partner

  • Logo stm | science technology media
  • Logo Universität Hamburg | Der Forschung | Der Lehre | Der Bildung
  • STORCK Part of Your World
  • Swiss Foundation of the cocoa and chocolate industry
  • Infopoint - Kakao und mehr
  • Logo PROJEKT 77 Internetlösungen

Interested in a sponsorship? contact us!

Organizer & Event location


Prof. em. Dr. Reinhard Lieberei, Gründer des Runden Tisch Kakao

Prof. Dr. Sascha Rohn, Universität Hamburg, Universitärer Koordinator

Dr. Daniel Kadow, August Storck KG, Organisator Wissenschaft und Programm

Stephan Musiol (Fon +49 40 769 792 50 & E-Mail: musiol@sweetvision.de),
verlag stm, Public relations

Event location

Bucerius Law School (BLS)

– Helmut Schmidt Auditorium –

Jungiusstraße 6

20355 Hamburg


Prof. Dr. rer. nat. habil. Dipl.-Ing. Reinhard Matissek

Dr. Daniel Kadow

Travel information

via airplain: Please use the Metroline S1 to Hamburg Mainstation and chang to S11/S31 to Hamburg Dammtor. The Bucerius Law School is only 500m from Dammtor.

via car: Driver please use the parking garage Messe-Ost

via train: If you travel via Hamburg Mainstation please use Metroline S11/S31 to Hamburg Dammtor.

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