Friday, May 31, 2013

There are three main varieties of cacao: Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first comprises 95% of the world production of cocoa, and is the most widely used. Overall, the highest quality cocoa beans come from the Criollo variety, which is considered a delicacy. Sri Lankan Criollo cocoa is considered to be one of the finest in the world, similar in many ways related to branding image to Ceylon tea and 95% of number one Sri Lankan cocoa beans harvested are used in the manufacture of the premium chocolate range. After cocoa beans harvesting the fermentation process is decisive in the production of high quality of raw cocoa.


Fermentation of the beans takes place according to different methods such as wrapped under large banana (plantain) leaves; it is during fermentation that the cacao beans start to develop the typical cacao flavors. Fermentation is a reaction between yeast and the sticky pulp. The fermentation process lasts from 3 days for some Criollo varietals. Fermentation reduces the bitter taste, gives the brown color to the bean and breaks down the remaining pulp. Once the yeast has done its work the result is a sweeter, chocolate flavor. 


Next, the fermented beans are spread out in the sun to dry. Drying can take place for 5 to 12 days, depending on the humidity, during which time the moisture content of the bean is substantially reduced.
Once dry, the beans are hand-sorted, graded and packed into jute bags weighing about 50kg .These dry beans are referred to as raw cacao. The bagged beans are transported to the CCL and they are stored in raw material store room. 


When the beans have been received at the processing location, they are inspected and thoroughly cleaned of all extraneous matter as well as any broken beans. Therefore first 50kg of bag is put in to the loading bay. After the beans inserted they are taken into the siller through a conveyor. The siller is used for cleaning process of cocoa beans. The cleaning process involves blowers, which remove items that are lighter or heavier than cocoa beans, and sieves that eliminate items that are too small or too big. A special machine uses air suction, magnetic separators and brushes to remove foreign matter such as jute fibers from the bags; sticks, stones and sand; metal and fragments from closures used in bagging and tagging. Usually 16 bags of 50kg cocoa beans are cleaned per a day. But it depends on the chocolate production of the factory. 


After the beans are cleaned, next they will be roasted in large rotating ovens. The cocoa beans are roasted at 16 0C, using steam pressure. The roasting is necessary for the development of the cocoa flavor and aroma. 


Winnowing means shelling, and prior to the Industrial Revolution, this was a manual process. After the beans have been roasted and cooled, their shells are thin and brittle. They move to a machine called the winnower, which cracks open the shells. Air blows away the cracked outer shell and the husk, and sorts the remaining nibs by size. The nib is the heart of the bean (also called the kernel or the meat), from which the chocolate is made. Nibs contain about 400 different chemical compounds responsible for the flavor of the final chocolate product. The roasted nibs are now ready to be ground into a paste that will eventually become chocolate. 


Finally, the nibs are ground and liquefied, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: cocoa liquor or cocoa mass. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Roasted and cleaned cocoa-nibs are carefully ground by the pin mill. The size of the cocoa particles passed through the pin mill, should not exceed 75 microns—such cocoa is called coca liquor. Cocoa liquor has 54% fat (cocoa butter) so the paste is the consistency of thick cream. Cocoa Liquor - Called liquor only because it is liquid, not because of alcohol content this is nonexistent. The ground nibs, also called unsweetened chocolate, are liquid when warm, but solidify when cooled. Storing After that process cocoa liquor is pumped into the storing tanks.  Cocoa liquor is kept at least 12 hours in these tanks at 9 0C to 10 0C temperature.


Cocoa liquor is heated up to 95-105 °C temperature. Then the chocolate liquor or mass is put into hydraulic presses and extremely high pressure, 6000 pounds per square inch, is applied to drain off the clear, golden liquid cocoa butter. The press cake that is left is cooled, pulverized and sifted into cocoa powder. 30 minutes are taken to this process. After that cocoa butter is pumped to the storing tank and cocoa cake is taken into the cocoa mill through a vibrator conveyor.Cocoa butter Cocoa butter is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cacao bean. It is used to make chocolate. Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma. It is typically solid at room temperature, but readily melts at body temperature, releasing the medication. 

Making cocoa powder

What remains after the removal of the cocoa butter through pressing are cocoa cakes, disks with a thickness of approximately five centimeters. Cocoa cake still contains a 10 to 20% proportion of fat depending on the intensity of compression. These cakes are broken up and ground into a fine cocoa powder by the melangeur machine and finally sifted in several stages by cocoa mill. After that cocoa powder is packed into polyethylene bags and weighing about 50kg. The bagged cocoa powder is stored in cocoa room. The powder is the substance which contains the aroma, taste and color of cocoa. That is why it is the ingredient which is added to numerous chocolates products for flavor and color.

The Production Process From Cocoa Beans To Semi Finished Products



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