USDA Cacao Genetics
Dr. Lyndel Meinhardt, lead researcher of the USDA/ARS lab near Washington DC, spoke at the launch of Pure Nacional Chocolate in New York. He noted that the genetics of cacao can be determined by extracting DNA from the leaves of cacao trees. Known cacao varieties are maintained in living-tree repositories. To find new and pure varieties, like Pure Nacional, requires searching in the wilds of the countries of origin. Fine chocolate is the fastest growing market. Finding and protecting unknown fine chocolate flavors is a race against time.