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a very simple or a very complicated question, please help.


Hi Everybody,

I'm getting prepared to start my small chocolate business. I'd really appreciate your help.

I'm planning to use a Selmi Plus or Futura tempering machine to manufacture some solid mostly dark chocolates.(%65-70) I've heard that the shelf life won't last that long with Selmi. Is that true? What's the average shelf life for a solid chocolate? I also would like to know

1) How the mould quality affects the shelf life
2) How boxing/wrapping affects the shelf life?
3) Are there any tips about my situation?

Thanks in advance,

Ozgur.



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Shelf life should be the same with the selmi as any other tempering method.

Solid dark chocolate has a really long shelf life limited only by form V to form VI transformation that occurs over a year or more depending on storage conditions.
Kerry, thanks for your reply.
Doesn't tempering quality affect the crystallization quality and the shelf life? And what exactly is form V and form VI?

All the best,
Ozgur
I guess my question would be - where is the concern with the tempering quality in the Selmi? I have not found it to give problems with temper as long as it is set correctly.

Form V (aka Beta prime crystals) is the crystalline form you want to predominate when you temper chocolate. Form V will eventually change to Form VI (Beta) over time (form VI being the most stable crystalline form) in a solid to solid transformation.
Hi Ozgur,
As Kerry says, the main risk in storing chocolate for long periods is fat bloom where the fat crystals change the appearance of the chocolate from a shiny uniform brown to a dull mix of brown and gray, the best way to limit this is through good tempering practice and correct storage conditions. Chocolate should, ideally, be stored in a controlled environment where the temperature is kept constant (ideally between 15 and 18 degC) and the relative humidity is kept around 50%. The big dangers for fat bloom are sudden shifts in temperature and humidity, when the chocolate is shipped a secondary package with some insulating qualities can help (think thick cardboard and bubble wrap) this will also protect the chocolate from physical damage.
Chocolate has a very low water activity, the limit for yeast and mould growth is 0.7 and my chocolate comes in at 0.4, this means that it is pretty much impervious to the spoilage through rot or fermentation, it also means that you need to pay attention to the humidity it is exposed to as it will naturally try to balance its water activity with its surroundings, when you keep it in humid conditions the slow uptake of moisture from the air can cause increased bloom and spoilage.
Hi David,

Thanks for your response and the information.

As you've also indicated the 'tempering practice', I'm mainly thinking about the tempering process. Will a Selmi machinery easily be suitable to do some solid chocolate work without any problems? Of course experience is necessary but what are the tips, or are there specific tips for manufacturing the ideal solid chocolate with a Selmi, so that it'll be problem free regarding the shelf life.

By the way, another question, is the mould quality affect this shelf life directly or indirectly?

I'm on my steps to start manufacturing some chocolate for promotions. So I should be careful about that. I need risk free products.

Thanks in advance,

Ozgur
Sorry Ozgur but I am not familiar with the Selmi, the main points to tempering are that the entre mass of chocolate needs to be thoroughly melted ( 45-50 degC) then cooled to 27 to encourage crystallisation of type V crystals then either seeded or agitated then warmed carefully to 32 degC to melt the unwanted type IV and III crystals which will also have started to form. The warmed chocolate is ready for use and should set rapidly on cooling to a shiny finish with no blemishes and a crisp snap when broken. You can use a tri-core meter to measure the quality of temper, these are a bit expensive though and if you have a good temperer and do it by the book you should be fine.
Mould quality wont influence shelf life, a poor quality mould may make an unattractive bar to start with but it will stay that way for the duration of its normal shelf life if well tempered and stored. I guess the main thing to watch with mould is that they are really clean and polished, warming the moulds to allow the chocolate to flow into them without setting on contact is important to finish as well.
Good Luck
DK
Ozgur.

I work with Tomric Systems of Buffalo NY and we are the US importer and distributor of Selmi equipment. And technical tempering discussion aside, when using the Selmi the temper is consistent and good and requires little experience to work the equipment. Two temperatures need to be put into the machine; a melting temperature and a working temperature and once those two are established, they rarely need adjustments if using the same chocolate. I work in in F and set my melt at 115F and working at 87.5 for dark and 115 and 86 for milk and white.

Hope that helps!

b
Hi Brian,

I'm considering buying a Selmi, and I'd like to know more about the products Futura, Plus and Color and their prices.

What's the differences of Selmi machines when you compare them with Nielsen or similar types of tempering systems that work with chocolate melting tanks. They are more advanced in the means of tempering but do you think that the result is the same?

And a very important question. What's the minimum shelf life of a full solid dark chocolate bar tempered by a Selmi? (aside from the storage conditions)

By the way is there an advantage or difference regarding tempering when you work with a small tank capacity?

You can contact me at ozgur@daimaexclusive.com

Best Regards,

Ozgur

Hi Ozgur,

 

Did you buy one of the Selmi tempering machines? Which one?

How do you like it?

 

Thanks,

Omar

Selmi is a good machine, as are many. Good tempering is always the final result of a good chocolatier. With automatic machines like Selmi, it takes a lot of risk out of the equation, but you always need to make adjustments based on experience. A well tempered chocolate will have a long shelf life regardless of which machine or even if you do by hand. The quality of temper is not machine dependent as much as operator experience. Storage is most important also. Cool and dry and away from light and odor.
Molds don't effect shelf life, however they do affect shine and presentation. Good polycarbonate for sure is better than vac formed plastics. Some new silicon molds are giving great results also, very good shine.
Clean molds are critical, by clean I mean no moisture, fingerprints, residue from previously untempered production. Learn the best way to wash molds, warm water, not hot, and wipe dry. If washing, best to run solid pieces through the mold first time as to give the surface the un seen film of cacao butter which will help on the next round of molding with shine.
I do suggest good molds, good tempering skills, and good tempering equipment, all worth the investment. Ad don't forget good chocolate to finsih it all off.
I think what you need are some good lessons. Ecole Chocolat has some very very good online classes. Hate to be so blunt, but it will save you a lot of heartache.....

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