Everyone loves chocolate. This deliciously sweet piece of heaven is often called the “food of the gods”. The substance itself comes from the cacao, otherwise known as cocoa bean. But how exactly is the bean transformed into those little brown treats that you love so much? Well, the answer lies in the chocolate factory.
Hold your horses. Before you start imagining chocolate waterfalls and Oompa Loompas, you have to realize that the reality of chocolate making is a whole lot different from how it is depicted in fiction. Here are some of the processes you might see when you take a tour of the factory:
Cocoa Bean Processing
You are hardly likely to see the harvesting of the cacao beans themselves, since most factories get the beans from different parts of the world. What you will see, however, is how the beans are processed. First, you will see how the beans are cleaned and screened in order to get rid of any unwanted matter such as dried pulp and pods.
After the cleaning, you will see how the beans are sorted out according to their countries of origin. What is the purpose of this? Well, did you know that the flavor of the chocolate produced by a cacao bean is affected by its growth conditions? This means beans from different countries produce different chocolate types. After sorting, the beans are blended together according to the preference of the company. Each company has its own unique chocolate blend.
When the blending is done, the beans are then roasted, turning them into the rich brown color people love. The aroma of chocolate is also released at this point.
Milling and Pressing
The roasted beans are then put into a process that causes them to shatter, separating the shell of the bean from its nib, or the part found at the center. The nib is the actual part used to make chocolate. When the nibs are separated, they are then put into the miller, where they are ground in order to extract the liquid known as chocolate liqueur.
The chocolate liqueur is then put into another machine, which uses hydraulic pressure to extract the oil known as cocoa butter. What’s left are dark brown cakes which, when dried and milled, become cocoa powder. Later on, the cocoa butter is added to precise amounts of powder in order to make different chocolate liqueur blends for different products.
Adding of Ingredients
Milk and sugar are other key ingredients in making chocolate. A chocolate factory often uses gallons upon gallons of milk in order to make chocolate. First, the milk and sugar are mixed together in precise amounts. After that, the chocolate liqueur is added, turning the concoction brown. Continuous mixing and heat application turns the combination into a powder. More cocoa butter is then added to this powder.
The mixture of ingredients can be truly called chocolate, but it is not finished with the chocolate factory yet. The liquid is continually rolled and agitated by machines in order to give it a smoother texture. The longer the processing is, the better the texture becomes. After that, the chocolate can be used to create various product lines
Creation of Products
You may next see just how the chocolate is turned into those delectable snacks that give people so much pleasure. In a chocolate factory, you might be able to watch how the liquid is poured into molds in order to become bars. You might even see nuts and other tidbits being placed in the molds in order to make chocolate covered products.
When the chocolate has hardened and set, you will see how it is packaged. Each chocolate bar or piece is wrapped individually using machines. Even Hershey’s Kisses are wrapped individually. Isn’t that just cool?
If you take a tour of a factory, you are most likely to end at a shop where the products are sold. Undoubtedly, your entire trip and your observations have caused you to develop a huge craving for chocolate. Why not buy some? You will find the different results of that same wonderful bean called cacao.
Those are the things that you will see when visiting a chocolate factory. Just seeing the entire process is quite remarkable, isn’t it?
For more information on chocolate, please visit:
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Nathalie_Fiset