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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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I am in complete agreement with Brad here. Unless the process of making chocolate starting from the tree (what is known in the industry as tree-to-bar chocolate) is very tightly controlled from the beginning through the end you will seriously risk contamination. And even then you still might have problems. I've spoken with several chocolate makers on Hawaii and they pulled the use of or selling the fermented but unroasted cacao beans - even with their own stringent controls due to the possible contamination. Remember, the first stages of processing cacao beans happens in the tropics where there is always something in the air and the possibility of contamination. To reduce this possibility, during the ferment having high temperatures - a constant 120f and higher for several days will kill most pathogens. But, you've still got the drying process and the shipping process - contamination can happen (hot tropics). 

If you choose to try and make chocolate from these fermented beans you still need to winnow and grind them to a fine particulate matter - the grinding produces heat, which you want in any case as this facilitates the cocoa butter melt which will expedite this.

And Brad is also right that cocoa powder is produced by hydraulic press - this also produces heat.

There are a couple of companies who do not chemically deodorize their cocoa butter, or they use a steam process but they are small companies and as far as I know, don't sell the cocoa butter.

I will say that the fermentation begins the process of producing the compounds that produce the chocolate flavor, this continues with the drying. Roasting is a big part of producing flavors which continues through the grinding and conching. All these steps contribute to a full rounded chocolate flavor. Steps can be omitted but only to the detriment of the final flavor.

How are you planning on grinding the cocoa nibs?

I'd love to understand what the draw is behind the 'raw chocolate' movement.  Every 2 months or so for years a handful of the exact same questions pop up.  While i'm not going to spend any more time answering them again, i do wonder why the question arises. Is there a movement, in general, of low heat processed foods?   Why?  Is there a belief that life is just too long? 

Or is it specific to cocoa?  If so, why?  What's the attraction/belief centered around?  I can't seem to parse that out of any of the questions...

Little help?

Sebastion..this is a good question.  And now, being exposed to this forum I am asking myself the same questions.  I am a business woman.  I love chocolate.  I started making chocolate when I owned a store, and decided to continue the process, though, quite honestly I do not know a lot about it, so I am learning.  I am wondering if it is marketed this way (including how it is marketed to me to buy in bulk) as something unique and unlike any other chocolate out there.  I am appreciating the insight, experience and wisdom this forum has around this topic.  It is a bit jarring for me, but I am listening. Thank you.

Quote of the month: "Why?  Is there a belief that life is just too long?"

Thanks Kit - I know i say things tongue in cheek sometimes, the intent isn't to be jarring.  I've only ever seen one 'raw' chocolate being sold (in NYC), so i'm left with the impression there's not a huge demand for it, but then it's hard to square that with all the requests.  Would love to hear more about they 'whys' of the requests that come in and what is driving them.  Your request appears to be driven more out of a desire to somehow differentiate the product, and not necessarily demand or belief based i think..

Yes Sebastian, it is not a belief for me.  It is more about wanting to create a unique product.  I believe the "whys" of the requests come from misleading of the companies selling "raw chocolate".  They claim that it has more health benefits and is superior to other chocolate on the market.  I am understanding that this is just not true, and that it is a marketing ploy. I went to my supplier and asked them to show me where it is just fermented beans being used, and how they are in fact considering it "raw".  They showed me nothing-proof to me! Thank you again!

There exists a raw food movement that believes that cooking food kills enzymes that are necessary to protect our digestive systems, etc.

Combine this outlook with the belief that the less processed our chocolate is the healthier it is for us.  

So, there is a market niche that is being exploited to that end.

Peter

Peter;

"Exploited" is a good word to use.

People jump on the "enzyme" and "anti-oxidant" bandwagon, and religiously wave their "raw healthy chocolate" flags, but forget to mention that their "healthy" chocolate SUPER FOOD is still about 70% fat and sugar!!

Call my cynical, but some people are so gullible I have to just sit there and shake my head....

Let's face it people.  Chocolate is a CONFECTION, not a super food, or health food, or a magical elixer that will clear your arteries and let you live to 120 years old.

Tell your customers to stop trying to justify their vice, treat it for what it is - a CONFECTION - and live a more balanced life.  You'll gain more respect from them than trying to feed them a line of crap that raw chocolate is some magical elixer that will cure your ails!

Brad

Raw chocolate is not more healthy, but cacao is definitely a healthy food if it is consumed moderately and with very minimal sugar.  Especially if it is not cane sugar and the cacao is organically grown.  I say the health factor of chocolate is related to the cacao content, not whether it has been roasted.  Personally I'm inclined to say roasted is healthier, actually, except for eating the beans fresh out of the pod with the pulp.  Cacao is a bitter food in it's natural state, and bitterness in nature is generally an indicator of mineral concentration.  Chocolate was always consdered a "medicinal" food by the people who originally cultivated and consumed it for over 5000 years in drink form.  Of course they usually consumed it bitter, only occasionally adding honey to sweeten, and mixing it with spices and herbs which have a stimulating effect on digestion and circulation.

By the way, fat is not bad for you, it is essential for protecting your cells and for nourishing your brain, plus lubricating your joints, rebuidling tissue especially in the liver, lining your gastrointestinal tract.  Cacao butter is one of the healthiest and most stable fats on the planet.  Sugar is the danger when it comes to health, it creates and feeds systemic infections that lead to inflammation and your body's slow decomposition from the inside out.  Sugar is what makes you "fat"...well that and overeating, stress, lethargy, combining several food groups in one meal, environmental toxins and plasticizers in food, alcohol, lots of stuff.  What people consider "fat" on the body is not actually fat at all, it is lymphatic blockage and build-up of toxic matter and yeast/mold/fungus/parasites in your body.

Just had to say that because I love chocolate and consider it one of the earth's most potent and powerful plants, of course as with any plant it must be grown and treated with respect not just in some massive full sun plantation being dumped with chemicals all the time.  Imagine you were trying to raise a child to be strong and healthy and you just left him out in the tropical sunshine and bathed him in chemicals all day. Not gonna work.

Slight modifications: the bitterness is largely due to the flavanol content, not minerals.  Also, singling out any single nutrient as 'good' or 'bad' is an oversimplification.  Much like a healthy 401k, your body requires a balanced portfolio of nutrients, including sugar.  Consuming more calories than you burn is what lays down fat.  Fat is simply excess calories that are stored for later use - not mycotic organisms.

Sugar in whole food form, yes.  Although even then, it is important to realize that most of the fruits and even vegetables like carrots and beets which are commonly available have been extensively bred for increasing sugar content.  The amount of sugar the average person takes in daily, be it in the form of highly processed foods or supermarket fruit, is far beyond what our body's design is naturally intended for.  Berries are the best form of sugar.

When someone is 400lbs, there is only a think layer of actual "fat" beneath their skin.  Your body does not need to store that amount of excess for later use. I agree that real and healthy fat is simply stored excess calories, but obesity is largely a buildup of toxic material in the lymphatic system.  This is just an opinion though, not all healthe xperts agree.  Parasite Rex is a good read on the subject.  Learn about the creepie crawlers that live inside you.

Jonathan...

 

Who are you trying to fool, you or the reader?

 

Ask any surgeon who's had to operate on a grossly obese person.  They aren't cutting through huge lymph nodes!  They are cutting through 100's of lbs of FAT.

 

As an FYI, a person doesn't lose fat cells when they lose weight.  We are all born with the same amount of fat cells we die with. The only difference is the amount of fat STORED in those cells which changes as we gain or lose weight.  The only way we die with less fat cells, is if they are CUT out of us - such as is the case with lyposuction..  The only place the fat cells can't be cut out of us are in our livers.

 

Please see my April 22nd post (above).  You're definitely in the "gullible" group where I and many others are left simply shaking our heads.


Brad

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