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Theobroma Cacao Artwork
Fig. 3.2 Cocoa bean cleaning. Source: Buhler.


Roasting cocoa beans can be described as an individual process. While all manufacturers have a similar goal of producing products efficiently, the flavor objectives for chocolate liquors usually differ from company to company and from country to country.

Therefore, the flavor target is a key factor in determining the type and blend of cocoa beans to be processed, whether to roast whole beans or nibs, type of roasting equipment and the roasting parameters employed. While it will not be discussed in detail, sufficient lowering of the microbiological counts during the roasting process must also be a major determinant in selecting a roasting system.

One of the classic debates in the roasting process has been which roasting technique produces the chocolate liquor in the most efficient manner the roasting of whole beans or the roasting of nibs? While actual production figures have not been located, nib roasting appears to be winning the debate. Another aspect of roasting which continues to be studied and discussed is the type of roaster to be used. Available types range from rotating drums to fluidized beds with all types being operated successfully around the world.

Regardless of the process employed, a broad flavor generalization can be made

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Making Chocolate 101

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