From bean to bar
The cleaning of the beans is the 1st factory transformation process, removing all foreign bodies, such as string, pieces of shell, crushed beans and dust by a sifting process.
Crushing and torrefaction
The beans are emptied at high-speed into a crusher that will crack and de-shell the beans. The resulting pieces of bean are called nibs and are now ready to be roasted.
Grinding and refining
The nibs are then ground by several grinders into a thin paste called chocolate liquor or mass. The nibs, rich in cocoa butter melt into a liquid state with the pressure and high temperature of the process.
To make chocolate other ingredients are added to the chocolate liquor
• Dark or plain chocolate: chocolate liquor, sugar and cocoa butter.
• Milk chocolate: chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter and milk powder.
• White chocolate: cocoa butter, sugar and milk.
The chocolate paste is then put into special grinders that reduce the size of any remaining chocolate particles to 20 microns. This stage is an essential part of the process to obtain a smooth chocolate.
The chocolate is transported into large mixers called “conches”. Conching is a long process of mixing, agitating and aerating.
This operation is necessary for several reasons:
• Elimination of volatile acids formed during bean fermentation
• Development of chocolate aromas
• Fluidification of the chocolate mass to render it liquid enough for moulding.
The chocolate needs to be brought back down to a precise temperature before being moulded (temperature at which the cocoa butter crystallises, essential to obtain a perfect shiny aspect). This operation is carried out in a tempering machine.
The tempered chocolate is now poured into moulds to produce our chocolate bars. They are then automatically wrapped and are ready for commercialisation.