Cacao and Chocolate Research Network

The College of Agricultural Sciences at Penn State is globally known for its high quality cacao and chocolate science.

Penn State faculty have conducted research on cacao and chocolate for more than 50 years on wide range of topics including history, health benefits, different aspects of cacao production, plant genetic improvement, plant propagation, soils management, flavor and quality, sensory science, chocolate making, agricultural extension, gender and technology transfer issues. The Cacao and Chocolate Research Network (CCRN) at Penn State currently includes more than 30 members including international graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty that are actively conducting cacao and chocolate research supported by finding from NSF, USDA-FAS, USAID, industry and others. The network was found by faculty, but it is enthusiastically supported and also driven by the graduate students and the post-doctoral fellows.


  1. To generate new knowledge and technologies for improvement of the crop and product quality.
  2. To contribute to poverty and hunger alleviation world-wide.
  3. To develop sustainable agricultural systems with reduced impacts on climate change.
  4. To support the industry world-wide.

For more information on CCRN contact Mark Guiltinan at or Siela Maximova at

Office for Research and Graduate Education


217 Agricultural Administration Building
University Park, PA 16802-2600