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Page 48

Fig. 3.4 Cocoa nib pre-mill. Source: Carlo and Montanari.

ranging from 38 mm and they are set in motion by rotation of the shaft to which blades are attached. It has been stated in the literature that chocolate containing ball mill-processed chocolate liquor requires shorter conche times; a desirable end result if applicable to the chocolate recipe being produced.

A second mill type, in use for many years, is the triple stone mill as shown in Fig. 3.6. A common configuration is three pairs of circular stones arranged in a vertical manner. Each stone is grooved and liquor moves from the center to the outside as grinding occurs. It can now move to the next pair of stones for further grinding or be pumped downstream for use.

A third mill type is the roller refiner which is similar to the five-roll refiner common in the manufacture of chocolate. It usually consists of three steel rolls. The nibs are pre-ground with a pin mill or a hammer mill although having grooved rolls as the first pair of the series can serve as a pre-grinder. A roller refiner produces flat particles while ball mills and stone mills produce particles more spherical in shape. This can be a negative since the increased surface area of the flat particle can require additional cocoa butter to reach a specified viscosity, which is a point to be considered during mill selection should this mill type be under consideration for installation.

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