The Phases Through Which Cocoa Bean Passes to Become Chocolate

Stack of ChocolateChocolate is a product that today is appreciated by people of all ages. The ingredients used for making chocolate are crucial for the final quality and type of the product obtained, but the production techniques can matter as well. The first step can be to choose the type of cocoa bean. Then, other steps lead to the molding phase. All these chocolate production phases are important for the final result, which is obtaining a high quality chocolate that has an intense taste and a pleasant flavor.

Choosing the Cocoa Bean and the Processing Phase

For obtaining a top quality chocolate, you should choose cocoa bean that is cultivated in West Africa and South America. After bean selection, the next step is harvesting. The bean is taken out from its pods and fermented. Drying and roasting the bean are the next important phases. By eliminating the shells, cocoa can be revealed. The chocolate liquor is made from the cocoa nibs. Through crushing, the nibs liquefy. Cocoa butter and solids are part of the liquid, but they can be separated through pressing. The alternatives to pressing can be molding and hardening, through which unsweetened chocolate is made.

The Production Phase of Various Chocolate Types

For obtaining the fine chocolate that people usually consume and that has become so popular today, the following ingredients are mixed: cocoa butter, cocoa solids, vanilla and different other flavors, according to each recipe. Milk must be used too, in case a milk chocolate is made. In dark chocolate, vanilla and sugar are usually added. In order to obtain white chocolate, the solids and the liquor are eliminated. Ingredients like cocoa butter, milk and its derivatives and sugar are used. For more customization, there is a multitude of additives, flavor and emulsifiers to use, but the company that manufactured the chocolate decides what is added.

The Refining Process and the Final Adjustments

After all the ingredients have been used and all the necessary processing has been performed, the final texture must be obtained. This texture is what you see when you buy the product, which means it must be creamy and smooth. But, for obtaining the texture, a couching process follows. This is the refining process and the more refining the chocolate gets, the finer its texture will be. The final adjustments are made through a procedure called tempering, which consists of heating the chocolate and cooling it. The formation of cocoa butter crystals is managed through different ways of cooling and heating. Tempering determines the pliability and firmness of the chocolate.

The Final Product and Packaging

The final product will have a fine and glossy sheen if every process has been respected, especially the tempering. In the last stage, a moldable chocolate is obtained that can be modeled in the way that is desired. The best examples of forms obtained can be: chunks, bars, blocks, or chips. Once the product is finished, it is packaged properly, according to standards in the field. Then, the chocolate is shipped anywhere around the world, in different forms, as gifts, or just as treats for consumers.

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- who has written 57 posts on Chocolate Lovers – Everything Chocolate.


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