pods) of cocoa tree grow all year around, but main harvesting season
in October and continues into the beginning of the dry season. Cocoa is
harvested also in March (beginning of other wet season).
are opened cocoa seeds are scraped out together with fruit pulp and
into baskets or boxes.
are left under protection of banana leaves for 2 -6 days.
to heat up and ferment. During fermentation sugars contained in the
are converted to acid. The process generate temperature about 50°C
kill the germ and activate the existing enzymes. The bitter taste of
is changed into typical chocolate flavour.
get rich brown colour, they are ready for drying. During drying cocoa
lose about 55% of weight. After drying, which takes one week, cocoa
are loaded into sacks and send to production sites.
When seeds arrive
to factory they are carefully selected and cleaned by passing through a
bean cleaning machine that removes extraneous materials. Different bean
varieties are blended to produce the typical flavor of
of particular producer. Then the bean shells are cracked and removed.
cocoa beans are called nibs.
The beans are
then roasted to develop the characteristic chocolate flavour of the
in large rotary cylinders. The roasting lasts from 30 minutes to 2
at very high temperatures. The bean colour changes to a rich brown and
the aroma of chocolate comes through.
The roasted nibs
are milled through a process that liquefies the cocoa butter in the
and forms cocoa mass (or paste). This liquid mass has dark brown
typical strong smell and flavour and cntains about 54% of cocoa
Part of cocoa
mass is fed into the cocoa press which hydraulically squeezes a portion
of the cocoa butter from the cocoa mass, leaving "cocoa cakes". The
butter is used in the manufacture of chocolates; the remaining cakes of
cocoa solids are pulverized into cocoa powders.
cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, flavourings and powdered or condensed
milk for milk chocolate are blended in mixers to a paste with the
of dough for refining. Chocolate refiners, a set of rollers, crush the
paste into flakes that are significantly reduced in size. This step is
critical in determining how smooth chocolate is when eaten.
Conching is a
flavour development process during which the chocolate is put under
agitation. The conching machines, called "conches", have large paddles
that sweep back and forth through the refined chocolate mass anywhere
a few hours to several days. Conching reduces moisture, drives off any
lingering acidic flavors and coats each particle of chocolate with a
of cocoa butter. The resulting chocolate has a smoother, mellower
then undergoes a tempering melting and cooling process that creates
stable cocoa butter crystals in the fluid chocolate mass and is
into moulds of different forms. Properly tempered chocolate will result
in a finished product that has a glossy, smooth appearance.
The moulded chocolate
enters controlled cooling tunnels to solidify the pieces. Depending on
the size of the chocolate pieces, the cooling cycle takes between 20
to two hours. From the cooling tunnels, the chocolate is packaged for
to retailers and ultimately into the hands of consumers.
wrappers shown here are
scans of real chocolate wrappers from still growing collection of