Manufacture & Processing of Chocolate

Before you move to read text consider going through this 4 min video:-

Before getting into detail let’s have a glance at the entire process at once.

Manufacture & Processing of Chocolate 1

1.Growing Cocoa Beans

Chocolate begins with cocoa beans, the fruit of the cacao tree (also called a cocoa tree). Scientists know that the cacao tree originated somewhere in South or Central America. Some say the first trees grew in the Amazon basin of Brazil, while others place its origin in the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela. Wherever its first home, we know the cacao tree is strictly a tropical plant thriving only in hot, rainy climates. Cocoa can only be cultivated within 20 degrees north or south of the equator.

Varieties of Cacao

There are two main species of cocoa: Criollo and Forastero. Criollo is sometimes called the prince of cacaos because it is a very high-quality grade of cocoa with exceptional flavour and aroma. Less than 15 percent of the world’s cocoa is Criollo, grown mainly in Central America and the Caribbean. Forastero is a much more plentiful variety of high-quality cocoa, representing most of the cocoa grown in the world. Grown mainly in Brazil and Africa, it is hardier, more productive (higher yielding) and easier to cultivate than Criollo and is used in just about every blend of chocolate that is made. A third type of cocoa also deserves mention. Trinitario, a hybrid or cross between strains of the other two types, originated in Trinidad nearly 300 years ago. It possesses a good, aromatic flavour and the trees are particularly suitable for cultivation.

2.The Cocoa Bean harvest

Cocoa pods are harvested by hand, one by one. Each pod is carefully cut from the tree with a machete or sharp knife. Pods that grow on the tallest branches are harvested with knives attached to long poles.

After Picking The pods cut from the trees are collected in piles in an open area not far from the cacao trees. Here the woody pods are opened with one or two lengthwise taps from a well-wielded machete.

Fermenting and Drying

Fermenting is a simple “yeasting” process in which the sugars contained in the beans are converted to acid, primarily lactic and acetic acids. The fermentation process takes from two-to-eight days, depending upon the cacao variety (Criollo beans ferment more quickly than Forestero). The beans are placed in large shallow wooden boxes or, on smaller farms, are left in piles and covered with banana leaves.

The drying process takes several days. Farmers or workers turn the beans frequently and use this opportunity to pick through them, removing foreign matter and flat, broken or germinated beans. During drying, beans lose nearly all their moisture and more than half their weight. When the beans are dried, they are ready to be shipped to chocolate factories around the world.

3.From Bean To Chocolate

The manufacturing process requires much time and painstaking care. Making an individual-size chocolate bar, for W instance, takes at least two-to-four days.

The pressed cocoa cake that remains after the cocoa butter is removed can be cooled, pulverized and sifted into cocoa powder. The powder is packaged for sale in grocery stores and in large quantities for commercial use as a flavor ingredient by dairies, bakeries and confectionery manufacturers.

How chocolate is made ?

While cocoa butter is removed to make cocoa powder, it must be added to make chocolate. This holds true of all eating chocolate, whether it is dark, bittersweet or milk chocolate. Besides enhancing flavor, the added cocoa butter makes the chocolate more fluid. One example of eating chocolate is sweet chocolate, a combination of unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter and perhaps a little vanilla.

Whatever ingredients are used, the mixture then travels through a series of heavy rollers set one atop the other. These rollers press against the ingredients until the mixture is refined to a smooth paste ready for “conching.”

What Is Conching?

Conching is a flavor development process which puts the chocolate through a “kneading” action. It takes its name from the conch shell-like shape of the containers originally used for this process. The “conches,” as the machines are known, are equipped with heavy rollers that plow back and forth through the chocolate mass anywhere from a few hours to up to seven days. At this stage, flavourings are added if called for in the recipe. Conching develops the complex flavours and makes the chocolate velvety smooth.

After conching, the mixture is “tempered” — a process of carefully cooling the mixture while continually stirring it. Finally, the liquid chocolate is ready to be poured into moulds shaped like the final product.

The liquid chocolate also is used to enrobe (coat on all sides) certain chocolate bars such as those with whipped nougat centres and boxed chocolates which contain a variety of centres made from cream, fruit, nuts, and other ingredients.

For detailed reading, you can check Story_of_Chocolate.

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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