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How to Make Chocolate Chips from Cocoa Powder

In the bustling world of industrial chocolate production, crafting exquisite demands precision, expertise, and a deep understanding of the science behind it all. For manufacturers on a large scale, creating these delectable morsels requires a systematic approach that begins with selecting the finest ingredients and ends with perfectly packaged chocolate chips ready to delight consumers worldwide.

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Let's dive into the intricate process of making chocolate chips from cocoa powder, exploring not just the steps but also the insights from relevant research papers that have paved the way for innovation in the industry.

What makes chocolate chips hard?

There are multiple ingredients in chocolate chips that contribute to its hardness. Firstly, there is fat. It can be either butter or coconut oil. Cocoa butter melts at 34 – 38⁰C (93 – 100⁰F), hence the will stay solid at room temperature. Alternatively, coconut oil or even palm oil is used instead of due to price and texture considerations. Coconut oil's melting point of 24 – 25⁰C (78⁰F) also enables the chocolate chip to stay solid longer.

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Secondly, sugar may also contributes to chocolate chips' hardness. Sugar is often added to chocolate chip mixture. Not only it affects chocolate chips' taste, sugar also affects chocolate chip texture. A study in Journal of Oleo Science about the effect of sugar and milk powder addition to texture of chocolate shows that adding sugar increase the fracture toughness of chocolate.

Thirdly, some chocolate chip brands use stabilizers to help them keep their shape, even when heated. The usual stabilizer used for chocolate chips is soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin. Although eventually chocolate chip may melt when exposed to serious heat, it will take awhile compared to .

Last but not least, the structure of chocolate chips may play a part in its rigidity. A study about shape design of chocolates proves that the internal structure and the chocolate ratio affect the perceived hardness of the chocolate. Chocolate chips' tiny shape may be beneficial to its sturdiness. Different processing conditions such as using different machines also affects crystallization and solidification of the fat phase of chocolate.

Will melted chocolate chips harden again?

Yes, they will when they are exposed to cooler temperature.

Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Production

The foundation of exceptional chocolate chips lies in the careful selection of ingredients.

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For large-scale industrial production, the following components are essential:

  1. : A core ingredient, cocoa powder provides the distinct chocolate flavour and deep color that define chocolate chips.
  2. Fat: Coconut oil or Cocoa Butter. Adding cocoa butter enhances the chips' smoothness and helps achieve the desired melting characteristics.
  3. Sugar: Various types of sugar, depending on the desired sweetness level, are used to complement the cocoa flavour.
  4. Emulsifiers: These aid in achieving consistent texture and prevent ingredient separation.
  5. Flavor Enhancers: Natural or artificial flavorings can be introduced to enrich the chips' taste profile.
  6. Stabilizers: Such as soy lecithin or sunflower lecithin. Stabilizers help chocolate chip stays hard and does not melt easily.

How is chocolate chips made?

The chocolate chips manufacturing process

Mixing and Grinding

Cocoa powder, cocoa butter or coconut oil, sugar, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and flavor enhancers are mixed in precise proportions. This mixture is then ground to achieve a homogenous blend.

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Conching

The is a crucial step in chocolate production that involves refining and improving the texture, flavor, and overall quality of chocolate. It was invented by Swiss chocolatier Rodolphe Lindt in the 19th century and has since become a standard procedure in chocolate manufacturing. The process is named after the conch shell due to its resemblance to the shell's shape.

chocolate conching machine from saintyco.com

The conching process helps homogenize chocolate mixture and develop its flavour by reducing acidic or bitter notes. Conching also aims to evaporate excess moisture from the mixture and improves the chocolate's texture. The conching process is detailed as follows:

  1. Mixing and Aeration: The chocolate mass, which consists of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and other ingredients like sugar and milk solids, is continuously mixed and aerated. This helps homogenize the mixture and introduce air into the chocolate, which contributes to its smoothness and texture.
  2. Friction and Heat Generation: The chocolate mass is subjected to mechanical agitation and friction as it moves through the conching machine. This generates heat that melts and refines the cocoa particles, breaking down larger particles into smaller ones. This process is essential for achieving a fine, silky texture in the final chocolate.
  3. Flavor Development: The combination of heat, friction, and extended processing time in the conch helps develop the chocolate's flavor by reducing unwanted acidic or bitter notes. This is particularly important for achieving the rich and well-balanced taste associated with high-quality chocolate.
  4. Moisture Evaporation: The conching process allows for the controlled evaporation of moisture from the chocolate. This enhances the chocolate's shelf stability and prevents the growth of microorganisms.

The duration of the conching process can vary widely depending on the desired outcome and the type of chocolate being produced. It can range from several hours to several days. Shorter conching times might be suitable for chocolates with a more robust flavor profile, while longer conching times are often used for achieving smoother, milder chocolates.

Tempering

is a process of heating while stirring and cooling chocolate to specific temperatures to pre-crystallize the cocoa butter in it. The end-product chocolate should be smooth and firm.

A study in 2009 by Bryony James of University of Waikato shows the resulting product of untempered or poorly tempered chocolate. The following pictures display how improper tempering tampers with the chocolate's appearance.

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Proper tempering of the chocolate mass is crucial because of these following reasons:

  1. Melt and Set Properties: Tempered chocolate has a higher melting point than untampered chocolate because the closely bound fatty acid crystals require more heat to separate. It also has a specific solidifying behaviour. When it cools and solidifies, it does so in a controlled manner, preventing the formation of large, unstable crystals that can lead to a gritty or waxy texture.
  2. Shelf Stability: Properly tempered chocolate is less prone to developing “bloom” – a whitish haze or streaks that can appear on the chocolate's surface due to fat crystallization changes. Bloom can occur when unstable crystals form on the chocolate's surface. Tempering helps prevent these undesirable changes and maintains the chocolate's quality over time.
  3. Appearance: Tempering gives chocolate a shiny appearance that makes it visually appealing. This is particularly important for chocolate chips, as their glossy finish contributes to their overall appearance and attractiveness.
  4. Uniformity: Tempering ensures that the chocolate chips have consistent texture and appearance. This uniformity is important for both aesthetic reasons and to ensure that the chocolate chips perform consistently in recipes.

Forming

The tempered chocolate is passed through chocolate chip designed to create the iconic chip shape. Imagine the tempered chocolate as ink and the machine as printer, printing dots of chocolate chips, waiting for them to be cooled off.

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Cooling and Packaging

Cooled off chips are packaged to safeguard their flavour and appearance. They are ready to be sold.

Conclusion

For industrial chocolate chip manufacturers, the art and science of creating these delectable bites require meticulous attention to detail. By blending precise ingredients, applying controlled processes, and integrating insights from cutting-edge research, manufacturers can produce chocolate chips that offer consumers unparalleled taste, texture, and satisfaction. As the industry continues to evolve, these practices, coupled with ongoing research, promise a future where every chocolate chip delights with perfection.

If you are looking for a reliable cocoa powder supplier from Indonesia, contact us at [email protected] for a chat and we'll be happy to help you acquiring quality cocoa powder for your business.

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