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< prev - next > Food processing Snack foods KnO 100199_Cocoa and chocolate (Printable PDF)
Cocoa and Chocolate
Practical Action
Solvent extraction
Cocoa butter can be produced at the large scale by solvent extraction. It should be noted that it
is unlikely that solvent-extracted cocoa butter would alone account for the added cocoa butter in
a chocolate. Generally, it would be incorporated in a butter blend at the rate of 2 to 5 percent.
The production of cocoa powder
The cocoa powder is taken from the press as a cake. It is broken in a mill. The resulting powder
is sieved through fine silk, nylon or wire mesh. Most cocoa powders are made from mass which
has been treated with alkali with the purpose of controlling the colour of the powder and
improving the dispersability.
The production of plain chocolate
To produce plain chocolate mass is mixed with sugar and sufficient cocoa butter to enable the
chocolate to be moulded. The ratio of mass to sugar varies according to the national taste.
The mixture is ground to such a degree that the chocolate is smooth to the palate. At one time
this was done by a lengthy process in “melengeurs” - heavy granite rollers in a revolving granite
bed - but nowadays grinding is done in a series of rolls.
After grinding the chocolate is conched. The original conche was a tank shaped rather like a
shell in which a roller is pushed to and fro on a granite bed. During the conching process which
may last for several hours the chocolate is heated, this helps to drive off volatile acids, thereby
reducing acidity when present in the raw bean, and the process finishes the development of
flavour and makes the chocolate homogeneous.
After conching the chocolate has to be tempered before it is used for moulding. Tempering
involves cooling and reaching the right physical state for rapid setting after moulding.
The production of milk chocolate
Similar processes are involved in the manufacture of milk chocolate. The milk is added in
various ways either in powder form to the mixture of mass, sugar and cocoa butter, or by
condensing first with sugar, adding the mass and drying this mixture under vacuum. This
product is called ‘crumb’ and this is ground and conched in a similar manner to plain chocolate.
Further information
Cocoa Wood, Lass Pub. Longman, 1989
(Covers the areas of cultivation, pest & disease, and marketing)
Small-scale Processing of Cocoa, Food Chain Journal No 23, Practical Action
The Chocolate Shop That Helps Stop World Hunger, Food Chain Journal No 32, May 2003
Useful contacts
International Cocoa Organization (ICCO)
22 Berners Street, London, W1P 3DB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7637 3211
Fax: +44 (0)20 7631 0114
E-mail: or