Processing Chocolate

Topics: Chocolate, Cocoa bean, Cocoa butter Pages: 5 (1676 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Food Technology|
Processing Chocolate|
The processes to make chocolate|


Chocolate can be made in many different forms (candy bars, cocoa, cakes, cookies, coating for other candies and fruits) and is probably America's most popular candy. Chocolate is neatly wrapped as the result of a long, delicate and complicated refining process that begins with the theobroma cacao tree. Any delicious bar of fine chocolate begins with the cacao tree. The secret behind cocoa has been dated back to the ancient Maya period.  To the people of Mesoamerica, chocolate was a privileged treat, in comparison to how we see it today. The beverage served high importance during royal and religious events, as the meaning behind its name indicates; during that period of time, the seeds from the cacao pods where they get transformed into a paste to create a chocolate drink. The paste is often mixed with chili peppers, water, and cornmeal, producing a spicy chocolate beverage” (Grivettiand Shapiro, 2009). “When the Aztecs took over part of Mesoamerica, not only were cacao seeds used to produce a favorable beverage, but they were also used as a form of currency exchange. The seeds had a high value as they were used as money to exchange goods amongst individuals. As the popularity of the chocolate drink grew, the consuming population expanded to primary rulers, priests, honored merchants and even decorated soldiers” (Grivetti and Shapiro, 2009).Cocoa made its way to Europe from Central America through the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 1500s. After the realization of the value of cocoa beans, the Spanish people began to import the beans and initiated the addition of sugar to the beverage as a means of avoiding the bitter taste. Spain was able to maintain the drink a secret from the rest of Europe for one hundred years. Once the secret got out, the beverage was only consumed by the royal families as it was with the Mayans and the Aztecs - and wealthy people due to the expensive import of cacao bean. “Cocoa trees originated in South America's river valleys, and, by the seventh century A.D., the Mayan Indians had brought them north into Mexico. In addition to the Mayans, many other Central American Indians, including the Aztecs and the Toltec’s, seem to have cultivated cocoa trees, and the words "chocolate" and "cocoa" both derive from the Aztec language. When Cortez, Pizarro, and other Spanish explorers arrived in Central America in the fifteenth century, they noted that cocoa beans were used as currency and that the upper class of the native populations drank cacahuatl, a frothy beverage consisting of roasted cocoa beans blended with red pepper, vanilla, and water. Chocolate consumption soon extended to England, where the drink was served in "chocolate houses," upscale versions of the coffee houses that had sprung up in London during the 1600s. In the mid-seventeenth century, milk chocolate was invented by an Englishman, Sir Hans Sloane, who had lived on the island of Jamaica for many years, observing the Jamaicans' extensive use of chocolate”("Chocolate," ) “Most of the fat calories that are in chocolate are from the cocoa butter although milk fat is present in milk chocolate and caramel candy. Milk is the important source of protein found in fudge, caramel, and milk chocolate” (Murano, 2003). The vegetable proteins found in cocoa, nuts, and soy ingredients are used to make certain chocolate products. Figure 1.

Production process steps of chocolate making (HawaiianVintage Chocolate, 2005) The Chocolate process begins with the harvest of the cacao pods. Because the pods grow in any location on the tree, most harvesting is harvest by hand. There are two important steps that have to be done before they can be shipped to the manufacturer. First, the pods have to be split open to reveal the cocoa beans inside that are surrounded by the fruity pulp of the pod. The beans and pulp are then scraped out of the pods and left to ferment in a...
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