The manufacturing of chocolate is a complex process and requires using a large number of machines and devices. If we are to delight in even the smallest product that contains chocolate, the basic ingredient, i.e. cocoa beans must undergo a long multi-stage process of conversion into cocoa mass. Depending on the type and country of origin cocoa beans differ in terms of their level of purity. Meticulous and complete cleaning is the necessary condition to obtain tasty, healthy products and is the first stage of cocoa beans processing in our factory. The cleaned beans are debacterised in order to reduce the bacteria load to a safe level and obtain a raw material characterised by high microbiological purity.
Raw cocoa beans contain on average 6-7% of water and are characterized by an unpleasant astringency and bitterness. For this reason they undergo roasting in high temperatures. Cocoa beans are mostly made up of a kernel, husk and a germ. Inside it contains a precious ingredient – cocoa fat (cocoa butter) that we want to extract. Only the roasted kernel that undergoes deshelling (breaking) is of value for cocoa mass production. The deshelled nib is crushed in a two-stage process, in which after breaking the cell walls and releasing the substances contained therein, it is transformed into a liquid and finely crushed cocoa mass.
The next stage in the chocolate manufacturing process is dosing the right amount of ingredients to the mixer. After carefully weighing all the ingredients, they are mixed to form a homogeneous mass, having a liquid to pasty consistency, then the mass undergoes grinding.
In order to achieve a homogeneous spectrum of particle sizes and optimum sensory properties of the final products, the mass undergoes a two-stage grinding. Pre-grinding takes place in an automated two-roller mill. The ground mass is then transported to five-roller mills, where it undergoes proper grinding.
The main stage of the manufacturing process is conching, which is carried out in order to obtain a homogeneous, well emulsified, aromatic chocolate that melts in your mouth. This process, of key importance for the final product, consists in long-term intensive mixing in state-of-the-art, automatic conches. During this process, chocolate mass goes through numerous physical and chemical changes.
When the conching process ends, chocolate mass is pumped through a tube to heated stock tanks, and from them to isothermal road tankers (liquid chocolate sold in bulk) or is transferred for forming into bars, drops of different sizes (chocolate sold in a solidified form).
Before it leaves the production line, chocolate undergoes a special process – tempering. This is a very important stage that has a direct impact on sensory properties of the finished product. The purpose of tempering is to achieve in chocolate mass the most stable polymorphic form of cocoa butter – the smallest possible crystals. The process is carried out in a device called tempering machine. Well-tempered solidified chocolate has a beautiful glossy appearance, conchoidal fracture, snaps when you break it and does not turn grey.
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