Chocolate Processing

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Louisiana State University
Nutrition and Food Services
NFS 1049

Chocolate ProcessingHistory of ChocolateColumbus observed cacao beans on his fourth voyage to the new worldCortez found that the Aztecs used cacao beans as money and to prepare a heavy strong beverageExample 1 turkey100 cacao beans1 avocado3 cacao beansBrought to Europe and was considered a luxury beverageThe sour and astringent taste was removed by the Dutch the drink lightened and hot chocolate become popularIn 1875 Swiss manufacturers produced milk chocolate and the used the conching process Lindt Cocao TreesNative to tropical AmericaCacao trees grow best in the tropical climates of West Africa Central and South America and parts of Asia Source International Cocoa OrganizationWorldwide cacao production is disbursed among the major cocoa producing countries as shownTheobroma cacao tree is source of chocolate flavorThe tree flowers and produces the cacao pods on tree trunkWest African cacao is a basic gradeCentral and South American produces the flavor gradesBegins producing pods in 5th year most productive at 10th yearSome can live to 100 commercial production ends after 25 yearsEach tree produces 3040 cacao pods per yearTrees are subject to many diseases and consequently yearly crops hard to predict There are several varieties each with different characteristicsoCriolloEarliest variety grown in Mexico South and Central America and IndonesiaThin skinned pods that are pointed and warty pinkish white seeds More difficult to grow fewer seeds per pod Best quality beans oForastero grown mostly in Brazil and West Africa Rounded pods with thick skins and flatter dark purple beans More disease resistant higher yielding and less delicate than criollo Most common genotype now
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