Who doesn’t love to nibble a bar of chocolate? The cocoa beans go through multiple processes before you consume them as whole bars of incredible taste. If you are passionate about chocolate manufacturing and want to foray into this business with a new venture, you need to start by learning the different processes involved. Delicious chocolate can be manufactured only with expert teams to handle every stage of it. Cocoa beans are stored in warehouses and silos and are then transported to the manufacturing plant to process them for the final scrumptious product. The imported raw cocoa will go through stringent quality control to make the final chocolate bar of premium quality.
Up to 1000 tons or more cocoa beans can be stored in silos measuring around 40 to 120 feet in height. Before the raw cocoa is sucked from the silos by powerful vacuums, laboratory technicians check if the beans are healthy, dried, fermented, and not damaged. The rest of the building mustn’t be in contact with the storage area. A cool temperature and good air circulation are to be maintained in these silos. Once they are lifted from these silos, every good bean is subjected to multiple manufacturing processes.
Cocoa beans are passed through a machine that removes the small pieces of the pod, dried cocoa pulp, and other hard materials. The beans are then blended after weighing according to the specifications. Powerful vacuum equipment is used to extract every last vestige of wood, sand, jute fibers, and dust. Valuable compounds are extracted in the chemical industry, where the cocoa beans are separated and passed on to the next stage.
Large rotary cylinders are used to roast the beans for the final characteristic chocolate aroma. The roasting time will range from 30 minutes to two hours based on the variety of beans used. All the beans are roasted at a temperature of 250 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The moisture content in the beans drops when they turn over and over.
3. Removal of Shells
After the beans are cooled, the thin shells are removed. They are passed through a giant winnowing machine to crack the shells, separated from the meat or nibs using a blower fan. These nibs are then ground between large grinding stones.
4. Cocoa is Separated
Cocoa butter is a by-product of the manufacturing process, and this should be separated from cocoa at this stage. Chocolate liquor is extracted from the mixture to make cocoa powder. Ingredients such as sugar, non-fat milk, and flavors are also added to the mix to make different types of chocolate.
5. Chocolate Paste is Kneaded
Conches with heavy rollers are used to knead the chocolate paste. Many other technologies are being incorporated these days to grind the chocolate particles into fine ingredients.
6. Chocolate is Tempered
This is the process where the chocolate thickens. It is heated, cooled, and reheated to let the particles impart the right flow properties to the final product. The liquid chocolate is temporarily stored before it can be used for thickening.