Glc of the silylated sugars fraction of cocoa beans revealed fructose, sorbose, glucose, sucrose, inositol, mannitol, a pentitol, and traces of two unidentified sugars. The same sugars were present in all samples, irrespective of geographic origin. Relative concentrations were, however, quite different, even among lots of the same type of bean. Most of these differences were attributed to harvesting, fermenting, and drying variables. Unfermented Sanchez beans were 1 % by wt sucrose, but fermented Bahia and Ghana beans averaged only 0.05 and 0.12% sucrose, respectively. Fermented varieties contained 2 to 16 times more fructose than glucose. The preferential consumption of the glucose moiety of sucrose during fermentation has implications important to the development of chocolate flavor during roasting. Results suggest that absorbed and occluded water-soluble constituents from the pulp contribute to the reducing sugars content of cocoa beans.