The chocolate wrappers museum

Basic facts about collecting of chocolate wrappers and my chocolate site.
Updates and news at my chocosite.
Online chocolate museum of wrappers from my collection.
Chocolate blog
What is chocolate wrapper?
Info about my collection of chocolate wrappers.
Statistic facts about my collection.
Top 100 chocolate companies in my collection
Basic info about cocoa tree, its fruits, history of cocoa and chocolate til 1800.
History of chocolate since 1800. Kinds of chocolate, chocolate in world. What is chocolate?
Manufacturing of chocolate.
Nutrition values of chocolate.
Links to most companies producing chocolate bars from entire world.
Chocolate museums in world.
Links to interesting chocolate sites.
Websites of other choco collectors.
Thanks to contributors and companies for their great help.
Contact me!

Harvesting of cocoa pods
Fruits (cocoa pods) of cocoa tree grow all year around, but main harvesting season begins in October and continues into the beginning of the dry season. Cocoa is harvested also in March (beginning of other wet season).
Cocoa pods are opened cocoa seeds are scraped out together with fruit pulp and loaded into baskets or boxes.
The seeds are left under protection of  banana leaves for 2 -6 days. Pulp starts to heat up and ferment. During fermentation sugars contained in the seeds are converted to acid. The process generate temperature about 50°C which kill the germ and activate the existing enzymes. The bitter taste of seeds is changed into typical chocolate flavour. 
When seeds get rich brown colour, they are ready for drying. During drying cocoa seeds lose about 55% of weight. After drying, which takes one week, cocoa seeds are loaded into sacks and send to production sites. 


Manufacturing of chocolate
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 chocolate of particular producer. Then the bean shells are cracked and removed. Crushed cocoa beans are called nibs.

The beans are then roasted to develop the characteristic chocolate flavour of the bean in large rotary cylinders. The roasting lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours 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 nibs and forms cocoa mass (or paste). This liquid mass has dark brown colour, typical strong smell and flavour and cntains about 54% of cocoa butter. 

Cocoa Pressing 
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 cocoa butter is used in the manufacture of chocolates; the remaining cakes of cocoa solids are pulverized into cocoa powders. 

Mixing and Refining
Ingredients, like cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, flavourings and powdered or condensed milk for milk chocolate are blended in mixers to a paste with the consistency 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 constant agitation. The conching machines, called "conches", have large paddles that sweep back and forth through the refined chocolate mass anywhere from a few hours to several days. Conching reduces moisture, drives off any lingering acidic flavors and coats each particle of chocolate with a layer of cocoa butter. The resulting chocolate has a smoother, mellower flavor. 

Tempering and Moulding
The chocolate then undergoes a tempering melting and cooling process that creates small, stable cocoa butter crystals in the fluid chocolate mass and is deposited into moulds of different forms. Properly tempered chocolate will result in a finished product that has a glossy, smooth appearance. 

Cooling and Packaging
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 minutes to two hours. From the cooling tunnels, the chocolate is packaged for delivery to retailers and ultimately into the hands of consumers. 





Chocolate wrappers shown here are scans of real chocolate wrappers from still growing collection of Martin Mihál


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