The Chocolate Life

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David Wolfe Visits Big Tree Farms Raw Cacao Facility in Bali.

David Wolfe Superfood authority and author of "Naked Chocolate" Visits Big Tree Farm's cacao processing in Bali and verifies the temperatures and quality of a raw cocoa butter produced by Big Tree.


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Comment by deedee devi on May 5, 2010 at 3:11pm
*aloha* to the group ... was there ever a follow up posted regarding: "But I will comment on your specific questions by Wed. B" or did anyONE receive a private message addressing samantha's comments??? *mahalo*
Comment by Vercruysse Geert on May 5, 2010 at 3:04pm
Thanks very much for this incredible explanation, its not simple for a chocolatier to have a clear exposition of the problem about raw cacao beans and trying to sel them at his clients as healty food, but it helps with thise discussions.
Comment by Sacred Steve on March 30, 2010 at 6:31am
I have done some analysis on ORAC values here comparing our own lab test to USDA data...
Comment by deedee devi on March 29, 2010 at 3:45pm
ALL of you are AMazing! YES!!!!!! LOVE of chocolate ...
Comment by Ben Ripple on March 29, 2010 at 7:22am
Samantha et all -
I'll be the first one to admit that our "transparency" is anything from complete...This is why we continually offer an open door policy...which is about the best that can be done at this stage of the game...
I'll also agree that I need to update the comments on cacao not being able to achieve a chocolatey flavor without roasting...My partner Frederick proved me wrong on that score with a fabulous raw paste he produced in Brazil at his new company AMMA (with Diego Badaro). Deep and somewhat chocolatey...though i still taste a clear difference...I will definately update the statements on the website to relfect.
As for implying that my "competitors" are being fraudulent...I have only brought the issue of transparency to the table as there are (as we can all see) major pitfalls in the creation and verification of raw cacao products. My partner Frederick and I have stayed away from attacking any specific products in the market...rather we celebrate the fact that we have achieved something extrordinary and of high value (especially for small holders who can potentially process their own cacao through this system). AND Yet....We have seen the #1 importer of raw cacao make a public statement that their products were not raw (butter and powder) and the #2 importer just pulled raw off ALL their packaging....Seems the market will correct once people are educated.
I will take your comments like a bigboy and will continue to try and work on any holes that seem to exist....My partner and I are open, transparent and committed to helping to grow this space.
I am writing this as in transit so its not complete....But I will comment on your specific questions by Wed.
Comment by Clay Gordon on March 28, 2010 at 6:33pm

The point I was trying to make was that David Wolfe's "verification" methodology was flawed - not that there is anything misleading or fraudulent about what Big Tree Farms is doing. Take a look at Samantha's comments again through this lens - she is pointing out the flaws in the video. Many people will look at the video and take the visuals as gospel proof. Which they are not.

This shows just two of the challenges facing any raw certification system:

1) The people doing the verification/certification cannot have any vested interest in the outcome (as David certainly does)

2) The people doing the verification/certification need be able to document the "chain of custody" for the entire process and need to know what they are doing. David certainly did not document the processing chain nor does he have the experience to know that he wasn't "proving" anything.

Now, I agree, the claims made for raw are beyond the scope of the discussion, but Samantha was expressing her opinion about raw - and there is a lot of background for her point of view on other posts on TheChocolateLife.

I understand that you are responding to a market demand and doing it openly and transparently. The whole raw industry needs more of that.

:: Clay
Comment by deedee devi on March 27, 2010 at 2:06am
there IS only LOVE ... chocolate fans included ") and may i add that I AM especially grateful for everyONE who contributes their LOVE/PASSION ~joi de vivre~ surrounding CHOCOLATE no matter what their angle/contribution etc etc ") love love love ...
Comment by Ben Ripple on March 26, 2010 at 8:30pm
Samantha...(and all others that are reading the below comments)...
I am nearly beyond patience with the conspiracy theorists looking at our processing system (which i may add is the ONLY process that has even attempted to be shown in full) and trying to pull it apart and find "loopholes". I will speak in bullet points now so as to calm myself from digressing too far on some of the ridiculous statements made by Samantha below...
1) Our product is 100% truly raw processed as defined by the commonly understood parameters of 118F.
2) I am not a nutritionist nor a snake-oil salesman and I make no claim about nutritional or spiritual properties of our raw cacao...although I will say that for me, the butter is beyond comparison and the powder is mighty delicious and earthy
3) Both my partner (frederick Schilling) and I find it personally offending that people i do not know (and that haven't taken the slightest incentive to contact us) would infer that we are frauding our customers. That is simply assinine and childish. As I have said in nearly every post here and elsewhere, OUR DOORS ARE ALWAYS OPEN....So you could come check, or have someone else check...but you won't...will is oh so much more fun to complain.
4) Besides your offensive inferences, your comments ALSO show a lack of any real understanding of the cacao process from farm to bar. Fermentation is FAR from a HIGH TEMP process...In fact as most people in the industry know, a high temp fermented cacao is of risk to develop off-flavors...often called hamminess (although this can also be a result of OVER fermentation in terms of time).
5) I am so happy that Samantha has figured out how to process cacao beans in her champion juicer though I have NO IDEA how this has any connection to the processes we use to extract cacao butter or grind powder. We use a simple hydraulic press...Not an expeller or screw again...a moot point...though whimsical and maybe a good idea for home processing.
6) We operate currently 6 presses and are building more every day....we run our cacao ops on 3 shifts and produce between 2.5- 3.5ton butter/month depending on how often machines are down for repairs.....This isn't a high volume operation but it is a truthful operation.
7) Both myself (having lived at origin in Indonesia for 12 years and having worked with cacao for the past 6) and my partner, Frederick Schilling (Founder of Dagoba Organic Chocolate) follow, above all else, honesty and integrity in business. We do what we say we do and I for one am so very tired of the negativity being placed on our operation here in Bali...An operation which is probably one of the most transparent and socially beneficial cacao programs in the world. My sincere apologies for the other members of Chocolate Life that have been put off by my frustration herein, but I feel that we have done much at Big Tree Farms to bring transparency to the raw community....We are not scientists and ALWAYS encourage positive comments about how we can further illustrate our processes...But negativity and inferences of deceit are more than I can handle. I will close with my open invitation to those who wish to visit...Our doors are always open.
Comment by deedee devi on March 26, 2010 at 7:46pm
incredible patience samantha! yes, using the melanger itself keeps the liquid at an elevated temperature for sure!

I AM LOVING this forum! ~ mahalo ~
Comment by deedee devi on March 26, 2010 at 6:25pm
samantha dear ~ how did you extract cacao butter at a temperature lower than 118F? is there a specific machine ONE can use to try this ONEself?

and i have been asking the same question as well ... how can ONE KNOW for sure the nutritional benefits of "RAW" cacao as opposed to any other variation?

it may BE significant to have a very clearly outlined specific lab test directly looking at this very specific comparison in question as those of us choosing the idea of "RAW" pay significantly more ... which I AM happy to do IF there is such a health benefit ")

does anyONE KNOW of a major cacao paste producer who has verifiable nutritional data on their fermented/roasted cacao (final paste product)? this would BE LOVEly ")

~ aloha ~

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