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Fig. 3.9 Frisse conche. Source: Richard Frisse, Salzuflen, Germany.

other undesirable flavors, one will have a chocolate with a mellow and well-balanced flavor profile. Exposing chocolate to high rates of shear so that each particle is coated with fat will stabilize the flow properties of chocolate. The moisture will be removed by pre-treatment processes and/or the shearing process. Therefore, all three elements provided by the batch conching process are obtainable without any type of conche. In reality, it appears that raw material pre-treatment and additional shear can complement the conching process resulting in decreased conche cycles and a more efficient use of assets.

As was noted when discussing cocoa bean roasting, the number of 'right' ways to conche chocolate is almost equal to the number of chocolate manufacturers. Not only is there disagreement in how to conche, questions have been raised as to the need to conche chocolate if some of the newer practices are adopted. Our knowledge base and understanding of the flavor development process are increasing as our quest for greater efficiencies continues. We have come from processing chocolate in longitudinal conches for days and weeks to cycle times of hours in modern conches, to continuous conching and, finally, no conching in the classic sense. Another debate which will continue is determining the impact the changes in conching will have on flavor, texture and flow properties of finished chocolate. Most important is the need to understand the impact these changes may have on consumers' acceptance of chocolates. This is an international issue and much work needs to be done.

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