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Seven sweet facts about how chocolate is made

Date:
February 10, 2012
Source:
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Summary:
Most people are unaware of how chocolate gets from trees to your table find out with these seven fun facts.

Cocoa pod.
Credit: Bernard 63 / Fotolia

Cocoa trees produce pods, which is the fruit chocolate comes from. Large harvests occur by hand twice annually throughout the year. Chocolate liquor is the thick paste generated when chocolate nibs, the roasted and de-shelled chocolate beans, are heated to a high temperature; it's then separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.

  1. Cocoa trees produce pods, which is the fruit chocolate comes from. Large harvests occur by hand twice annually throughout the year.
  2. Chocolate liquor is the thick paste generated when chocolate nibs, the roasted and de-shelled chocolate beans, are heated to a high temperature; it's then separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
  3. The FDA has established standards to identify different kinds of chocolate.
  4. Milk chocolate contains cream or other dairy products and sugar, but it must contain at least 10 percent chocolate liquor;
  5. Dark, bittersweet or semisweet chocolate must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor;
  6. White chocolate contains no chocolate liquor, but instead consists of cocoa butter, sugar, dairy products, and flavorings; it must contain at least 20 percent cocoa butter and no more than 55 percent sugar.
  7. A machine known as an "electronic nose" evaluates the chocolate's aroma.
  8. Several tests are conducted on chocolate liquor to make sure it's fit for human consumption and check for qualities such as moisture content, fat content, free fatty acid content, particle size, viscosity, color, and flavor.
  9. Roasting the cocoa beans is an important step in chocolate processing as it eliminates pathogens (particularly salmonella).
  10. There is not a one standard method of quality testing in the chocolate industry; companies around the world have their own ways of measuring chocolate quality and their own types of equipment.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Seven sweet facts about how chocolate is made." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210133217.htm>.
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). (2012, February 10). Seven sweet facts about how chocolate is made. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210133217.htm
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT). "Seven sweet facts about how chocolate is made." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120210133217.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

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