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Dear all

I'm new to this site so forgive me if I ask questions that have been repeatedly answered.

I am trying to compile an equipment list for a small chocolate R&D project. The target is to find laboratory scale equipment that are affordable but efficient and durable. Please suggest brands that meet the above mentioned criteria for labscale refiners(ball or roll), conches, tempering machines(continuous or batch), mixers, heating cabinets, refrigerators etc.

Basically everything you need for an R&D lab.

Machinery capacity approximately 20kg

Thank you all.

Tags: R&D, equipment

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A few questions to help clarify for people who might look to answer this:

Capacity is 20kg ... per batch? One batch per week? One batch per day? More often? Less often?

Truly lab scale (for testing) or are you going into production for retail sale?

Does the lab-scale equipment lead to production at a much larger capacity?

:: Clay

I should have been more throughput should be about 20kg/batch( for batchwise machines) and 20kg/hr for continuous. The project now is strictly lab scale for development and testing of some products so nothing too large is needed.

Yes it will lead to and support production on a much larger scale.



There is no lab-scale machinery at 20kg/hr throughput for chocolate production. Only batch. You can get continuous temperers in that capacity, but that's trivial compared with the machinery for producing chocolate.

Unfortunately, there is no "system" of equipment scaled to that is scaled to that level of production. You can get a 20kg "universal," but there no complementary options for roasting/cracking/winnowing and, optionally, pre-grinding. It's easy to find 1 tonne/hr winnowers, hard to find 20 kg/hr, for example. Easy to find 1 lb sample roasters, hard to find inexpensive 20kg roasters.

It's also probably a good idea to know how you want to scale up in terms of production method/equipment. If you're not careful, not everything you do in the lab will translate into production if you use very different approaches.

Do you have even a ballpark budget in mind? You can't do this for $10,000. You could easily do it for $100,000. 

:: Clay

Thanks. You just made a point I haven't fully considered.......''If you're not careful, not everything you do in the lab will translate into production if you use very different approaches''

If I use a ball mill as a refiner in the lab and 2and 5 roll refiners for mainstream production, can that turn out to have no correlation whatsoever if all I'm looking at is particle size and not impact on viscosity?

Also, right now I'm looking at more of a cocoa mass to chocolate process line not bean to for now, roasting etc.. are not primary concerns. But is it possible to find say a 5Ib sample roaster?




Absolutely.  Two particle size methods can be correlated - i've done it - keep in mind there are many, many variables you'll need to control.  For the ball mill - how do you control the mass temperature and what is it? how many passes are you using?  size and type of media? does it degrade into your product and change it's physical characteristics? do you have a way of measuring the particle size distribution that the ball mill results in, and a way to correlate that to what you get off the refiner(s)?  What about residual moisture differences between the mills and it's impact?  Are flavor differences important to you?

For the refiners - state of the crown, are you using the 2 roll as a pre-refiner followed by the 5 roll, or independently of one another?  Are they hydraulics the same across the different adjustment points? 

Does any of the above matter?  Depending on what your goals are, they may not.  Or they may be incredibly important. 


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