The processing of raw cocoa beans into cocoa powder entails a number of stages. Before arrival at the factory, the raw cocoa beans are fermented and dried, thereafter cleaned, mixed into desired blend, fragmented and stripped of their husks. What remains is the inner part of the kernel, called ‘cocoa nib’.
The nibs are heat-treated to eliminate possible bacteria and subsequently roasted and ground into a liquid cocoa paste (mass or liquor). The nibs / paste may be alkalized before, during or after the roasting process. This determines the colour and taste of the cocoa powder. Fat is pressed out of the cocoa mass under high pressure up to (550 kg/sq.cm.).
What remains after the removal of the cocoa butter through pressing are cocoa cakes which are broken up and ground into a fine cocoa powder. The cocoa powder is tempered by a gradual cooling process to develop its physical characteristics such as free flowing by crystallizing cocoa butter, which determines shelf life.
The powder is the substance which contains the aroma , taste and colour of cocoa. That is why it is the ingredient which is added to numerous food products for flavor and colour; biscuits puddings, deserts, cream filled chocolates, ice-creams etc. Mixed with sugar and diluted with milk it turns in to a mild chocolate drink. It also provides the finishing touch for confectionary, truffles and cappuccino coffee, while new applications are being developed all the time.
All cocoa beans are inspected and approved as part of the quality control process.
Cocoa beans are roasted in large rotating cylinders.
ROASTING develops the aroma, flavor and rich color of the chocolate.
The inside of the cocoa bean is called the "NIB".
Nibs are ground into a non-alcoholic liquid called COCOA LIQUOR.Cocoa liquor is the main ingredient in chocolate.
Giant hydraulic presses squeeze the COCOA BUTTER out of the cocoa liquor.
The pressed cake that remains after the cocoa butter is removed is cooled, pulverized and sifted into COCOA POWDER.