Chocolate is a mixture of cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, and possibly milk. The percentage of each element depends on the variety and type of chocolate that you wish to obtain.
The cocoa mass is mixed with the other raw materials (sugar and possibly dairy products) in a kneader equipped with granite wheels. The composition is kneaded until it becomes a homogeneous paste.
GRINDING / REFINING
To reduce the particle size to a level that is not perceptible to the taste, the solid particles must be reduced to 15-25 microns. The pulp thus passes into grinding mills (rolling mills composed of cylinders whose rotation speeds increase) and is subjected to a pressure of 30 bars. This operation makes it possible to obtain an absolutely homogeneous mixture and a very fine granulation.
This operation is essential to give chocolate its finesse and smoothness since it allows a for the product’s homogenization and the development of its aroma. There are two types of conches:
– The first generation conches are elongated pools grouped in batteries of 4. Inside, rollers knead the dough in a back and forth movement, which promotes the development of the aroma and the elimination of the last volatile acids.
– More modern conches are devices equipped with rotors that make a circular motion and in which the chocolate undergoes constant agitation.
Conching lasts 12 to 48 hours depending on the desired result. This is an operation that can be broken down into two stages:
– Dry conching: the less lubricated crushed particles undergo significant friction, which causes heating. This operation is important for the viscous quality of the mass.
– Liquid conching: cocoa butter is added to the mass throughout the cycle. The chocolate will be smoother. The conch’s work causes a rise in temperature. In order to keep it constant, cold water circulates in the conch’s double envelope.
The duration of conching has a big influence on the chocolate’s velvety and smooth texture.
When conching is complete, the chocolate should be tempered to change from the liquid state to the solid state. It is thus subjected to a temperature cycle, calculated very precisely, to promote a fine and stable crystallization of cocoa butter. The chocolate, stored in tanks at 40 °, therefore goes into a tempering machine, i.e. a cylinder with a double coat which cools it then warms it to 29-30 ° for milk chocolate, 31-32 ° for dark chocolate. This is called the crystallization curve.
The heated chocolate then passes into a weigh hopper which distributes it in molds (molding), then the molds are subjected to a continuous shaking which distributes the chocolate well and flushes the air bubbles out by tapping. These molds are engaged in a refrigerated tunnel at 3 ° C – 12 ° C. The chocolate, which contracts when cooling, is easily unmoulded at the end of the tunnel. The packaging and processing operations are now fully automated.
THE STEPS OF MANUFACTURING
|MIXING sugar+milk+butter||MIXINGsugar+mass||MIXINGsugar+mass+milk + butter|