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I am looking for a source of organic cocoa nibs to use as is (after roasting and/or caramelizing) as an add-in in a bar.  The chocolate alchemy site has 2 organic varieties for sale: Madagascar – Sambriano Valley and Dominican Republic “Conacado”.

 

I have a few concerns.  He mentions at the bottom of his info page:  "Where as these are winnowed, nothing is 100%. You may and probably will find small bits of husk, but nothing so bad as you can’t leave them in there."  Having dealt with a batch of hazelnuts with small bits of shell in the past - I'm wondering how much of a concern small bits of husk are (keeping in mind they are being used whole)?

 

I am also wondering if I should be sourcing out roasted nibs as I don't have any experience with roasting.  That being said - I roast nuts all the time... am I being naive thinking that I can manage roasting nibs?

 

If anyone has any other suggestions for organic nibs I'd love to hear them.  I'm looking to purchase a small amount - approx. 10lbs.  Also, does anyone have direct experience with the chocolate alchemy nibs (beans) listed above?   I'm leaning towards the Dominican Republic Conacado out of the 2 (more neutral I'm assuming).

 

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Lana:

You might want to contact ChocolateLife member Patrick Pineda. His company, East Bluff Trading imports into the US cocoa products from Venezuela including beans, nibs, butter, powder, and more. I have a bag of samples of what are labeled "Porcelana" beans. Can't wait to start playing with them. You should be able to order small amounts and then grow your volume and get better prices as your volume grows.

USDA regulations allow up to 1.75% of residual shell in nibs. It's not cost-effective for manufacturers to try for 100% clean. That said, you could do some additional winnowing on your own. A couple of extra minutes per kilo is all it should take to get most of what remains out. The shell of a cocoa bean is papery, not like the shell of a nut, so you don't have to worry about someone breaking a tooth on a bit of shell left in the nibs.

The thing you have to be careful of when roasting is that the nibs are small -- and so they can go from perfect to burnt very quickly. Your best bet is a probably a convection oven set to the max temp you want to roast at.
Hello. I am currently in Venezuela sourcing the new origins for the next harvest. And came across your post.
Thanks clay for the support.

If the shell is roasted it is 'should' not be harmful or dangerous as long as the bean does not have heavy metal or high dose of dangerous levels of pesticides. If you are using for manufacuring ask for a COA - certificate of analysis from your supplier and make sure it is 3rd party lab that issued the COA.

The shell is 80% insoluble fiber and 20% soluble fiber and has relative high pectic acid content which creates a gelatinous layer once left wet and a well fermented bean activates high levels of vitamin D in shells. The shell is used in industry for livestock feed and fertilizer. In africa they use it to feed the tilapia and in the US since the late 1920's they began to use it to increase the vitamin D content of lactating cows. Personally i kinda like eating the shells as is. they taste like thin chocolate popcorn - furthermore we did fda lab results on our shells and has high magnesium levels.

Long winded answer to simply say if you are buying in bulk there will always be shells in your nibs. You can sift them out if needed - we have a finished product that needs clean nibs of three distinct sizes and as clean as possible and as Clay says it is very expensive to manually clean large quantities - It took my brother three days to "sift" and separate 1000lbs of nibs. See what works for your production needs and production costs.

If you want to try our bulk or retail:
We do 44kg kraft polylined bags of single origin Ocumare Nibs - the first USDA organic cacao from Venezuela. I think they are cheaper on amazon then our own site right now and we have 1lb and 5lbs bags as well.

Good luck and let us know which you ended up trying and how you liked them.
Clay and Patrick,
Thank you so much! Patrick your beans sound wonderful - I'll put in my Amazon.com order tomorrow. Thanks for the tip to order there. I think I might have to try a few more goodies too. . .
Me again. . . Patrick, I just read through your other products listed on Amazon. I'm wondering why the nibs are roasted but the cocoa powder and cocoa butter are offered raw? I gobble up raw 'pasta' (spiralized zucchini and raw tomato sauce!) but am leary of raw chocolate products. I'm not saying I'm right - just that I don't have confidence in the safety of it to offer it to my clients. Do you also offer cocoa powder and cocoa butter from roasted beans? Or perhaps I'm not reading things correctly??
Thanks again.
Coppeneur Chocolate sells 5kg pails of cocoa nibs from organic plantation "Hacienda Iara" in Ecuador and organic plantaion "Menavava" in Madagascar.

I can be contacted through coppeneurchocolate.com for wholesale pricing.
I've been working with Chocolate Alchemy for years, roast my own cacao and make chocolate. John is correct - a teeny bit of cacao husk isn't going to matter. The husk of cacao is very different than that of nuts. If you look through John's site, you'll see that you can easily roast cacao in your oven - but you still need to crack and winnow them. In my experience John has very high quality products and is very knowledgable. The Dominican Republic cacao would be your best choice for a neutral cacao. The Madagascar can be wildly fruity!

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