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Hello chocolate community. I am going to be purchasing bulk fermented cacao beans for my chocolate business. I have been buying the butter and powder separate, but it is not cost effective as my company grows.  If I were to buy the fermented bean what exactly would I need for equipment?  I would not be roasting them, we are selling "raw" chocolate- what I know is really fermented chocolate.  Thank you for any advice here!

We temper the chocolate, pour into molds, and let harden.   I am needing to know what equipment is needed for the bean-bar process.

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And also, is it ok to just use the fermented bean (without it being roasted)-I assume it is a special process the bean undergoes?

Cocoa beans don't taste like chocolate until they are roasted.  Before then, they are very acidic and unpleasant.

On top of that, if you make chocolate with raw cocoa beans, you are playing russian roulette with the chances of killing someone from ecoli or salmonella. Remember:  Cocoa beans are an agricultural product fermented and dried on the ground of a third world country.  If you wouldn't drink the water from the tap there, why on earth would you eat something right off the ground?



Thank you for your response Brad.

I agree with Brad and i can tell you that after have tasted some raw cocoa beans out of excitement for our first shipment, i had to spend 2 weeks in bed with high fever, vomit, stomach problem and 2 kind of antibiotic. Lost 6 kg and the doctor wasn't sure what caused!

So roast the beans! you will gain on flavor and uniqueness of your own chocolate.

Thank you! So what is the deal with chocolate companies that say they are making raw chocolate?

99.99% of chocolate companies in the world don't make chocolate.  They simply resell something that they buy.  It's simply misinformation that they have been provided and trust.  Somebody lied to the reseller.  For example, a spice shop in my neighborhood had "raw" nibs for sale.   I took them 4 different varieties of REAL unroasted nibs, and as a result, they pulled the "raw" nibs off the shelf.  Why?  because the nibs they were told were raw, were actually lightly roasted and had a very delicate, mild chocolate flavour - similar to the mild chocolate flavour I can create in my shop when I mildly roast cocoa too.

Think about this for a second:  If the FDA and the CFIA stipulate the cocoa is a 100% guaranteed contaminated commodity, do you actually think they would allow someone to sell it as a food product in it's raw state without going through some type of heat sterilization process first???  (which incidentally nullifies any "raw" claims they should be able to make).


if you make bread you dont eat raw dough and also you dont eat raw potato...that's because it's unpleasant and not healthy ;-) the same goes with chocolate.

This site claims all of their chocolate is raw and uncooked at that their chocolate never reaches temps above 114F.

So are they just using some type of agent to wash/clean their cacao before they make their chocolate? or are they selling chocolate death?

Simply put, i don't believe it.  They may not be exposing it to those temperatures (however, it's the temperature of a loading truck, so even then...) - it doesn't mean someone else isn't, and how in the world would they know.  I'm a huge skeptic.

Without any heat application, the fermenting bean pile will exceed 114F (temp taken from middle of pile) on its own from the microbial activities.

Kia ora Kat,

I just came accross your letter in the forum and was wondering how you got on with your business.  I also make raw choc in Nz (using butter and powder) but in the process of changing from bean to bar.  Did you do further reshearch on the risk of using 'unroasted' beans?  Any feedback would be most pixie


If you're making chocolate with cocoa powder, it's not raw chocolate.  Most cocoa powder is a by-product of making cocoa butter, and is created by roasting and crushing the cocoa beans, then putting them through intense pressure to "press" out the butter. 

Most cocoa powder is also alkalized using a chemical called Potassium Carbonate. 

Cocoa powder is literally the farthest from "raw" that a person can get in the industry, as it's the most heavily processed.

Having said that, you might want to revisit your use of the word "raw".  Simply put: what you make isn't raw.



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