The industrial process for cocoa and chocolate production starts with the production of cocoa mass, which is the liquid cocoa mass obtained after the roasting and grinding of the cocoa bean.
(Cocoa mass is also sometimes called “cocoa liquor”, which despite its name contains no alcohol whatsoever.)
The main stages of producing cocoa mass at Altınmarka are the following:
Where different origin beans are required for a specific recipe, they are blended and mixed in right proportion and fed into the cleaning machine where all foreign bodies such as sand, dirt and stones are removed.
The first critical step in the industrial process is the roasting of the cocoa bean as the typical chocolate flavour is first created during roasting. Roasting may be conducted before the shelling of the bean as well as after shelling (called “nib roasting”). When the entire bean is roasted, the shell protects the cocoa “nib”, sealing aromatic oils. The amount of heat applied may vary according to the specific application. Low heat will dry the bean without roasting the inner nib. Some chocolates and cocoa recipes call for low-heat roasting. Alternatively, higher heat may be applied where darker colours and stronger roast flavours are required.
Depending on the method used in each case, the beans are shelled (also sometimes referred to as “winnowing”) before or after roasting, releasing the cocoa kernel or “nib” from the shell.
Although roasting is mostly applied before shelling, some recipes call for nib roasting, resulting in darker hues and stronger flavours.
The cocoa nib consists of 52-56% cocoa butter. Together with the heat generated in the grinding process, the cocoa mass turns into the liquid“cocoa mass”, or “cocoa liquor. Next to these standard processes, Altınmarka applies two additional critical processes at this stage: liquor flavour improvement and liquor refining - both of which have a significant impact on the quality of the final cocoa mass product.
This process improves the microbiological profile of the cocoa mass and allows for the development of different colouring and flavour notes. This assists in the customization of the product and creates costs savings by reducing conching periods at the chocolate manufacturing stage.
This additional process improves product texture and ensures that the exact specified particle size required for a specific application and recipe is achieved. Once cocoa mass has been obtained, there are different routes this product can take:
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