If you have ever wondered how chocolate is made, you’re not alone. The process begins with cocoa beans being ground into powder, a process known as conching. Cocoa beans are then sent through a freezing process. The final step is to add a small amount of cocoa powder and other ingredients, depending on the type of chocolate you’re buying. After the conch process, chocolate is sent through a freezing chamber for at least two hours, transforming it from a liquid to a solid. Finally, it is packaged and shipped to retail stores.
To make gourmet chocolates, the conching process is important. In this process, cocoa powder and water are blended and stirred in large machines called conches. Cocoa powder and water are then added to the mixture and blended until they have the correct texture, flavor, and color. Once this process is completed, chocolate is then placed in molds or fed into a packaging machine to be filled. After being made into bars, chocolates are then wrapped and packaged for shipment.
To make chocolate bars, cocoa beans are first roasted. The outer shell is then removed and sold for animal feed. The inside portion of the cocoa bean, called the nib, is then ground to a paste. This paste is then heated to form a smooth chocolate substance called chocolate liquor. Chocolate liquor is a substance produced from this process and is used to make many different types of chocolate, including baking chocolate and milk chocolate.
Cocoa beans are harvested from the cacao pods. The cacao bean itself has a mucilaginous white coating. The cacao bean is then covered in a sugary pulp, similar to lemonade. This pulp is food for microbes that cause fermentation. The microbes eat the sugar, producing lactic acid. Fermentation is essential to the development of the flavor of cacao beans and is also crucial in determining the final taste of chocolate.
The cacao bean undergoes fermentation before it is used to make chocolate. The beans are spread on banana leaves and left to ferment for about three to nine days. While cacao beans do not ferment, their pulp sugars do. During this time, the beans’ white skin sloughs off and turns maroon. Not all chocolate makers use fermentation and sun-drying processes, however. Some chocolate makers mechanically dry raw cocoa beans. The resulting dried cocoa seeds weigh less than their fresh weight.
Before Hershey’s can make their famous chocolate bars, they must first manufacture cocoa beans. This is an intensive process that involves roasting and cleaning the beans. During this process, the chocolate is inspected for defects, mold, and flavor. Cocoa liquor is also used to test the flavor and smell of the chocolate. Then, it has to be cleaned to remove dirt, bacteria, and other unwanted substances.
In addition to the production of chocolates, Hershey’s also produces a line of candy that is made in factories. The company’s factory is near the plant that makes Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which are the first chocolates to reach the $2 billion retail sales mark. In addition to milk, Hershey sources sugar from plantations in the southern United States. As a result, the company is working toward reducing its environmental footprint.
The headquarters of Mars Inc. is located in suburban Washington, D.C., and Chicago is its center of candy bar manufacturing. Forrest Sr., a founder, focused his company’s expansion efforts in Europe during the 1960s. However, the Hershey Company remained its chief competitor in the U.S. chocolate business. As a result, Mars Inc. began producing chocolate and peanuts in-house, cutting costs over its competitor.
Forrest Mars Sr., who had retired from the Mars Candy Company in 1973, began his new business. Unlike his predecessors, he was more business-minded, able to bust unions and keep Mars Inc. free of labor movement rumblings. He managed to keep everyone on the same level within the factory ecosystem, and his changes paid off. Forrest Mars’s efforts to make the company more efficient paid off in the end.