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Fig. 3.6 Triple cocoa liquor mill. Source: Carlo and Montanari

with nibs being the most prevalent. Simply stated, the process consists of mixing the selected cacao material with an aqueous solution of the specified alkaline compound and mixing at elevated temperatures and possibly increased pressures. Fig. 3.7 shows an example of an alkalizer.

There are process schemes where the mixture is allowed to set for several hours without agitation. Common alkaline compounds are potassium carbonate, calcium carbonate and sodium hydroxide. The resulting product colors range from a light red to a charcoal black. Flavors vary over a wide range and the only general statement to be made is that alkalized cocoa powder or chocolate liquor tends to be less acidic. It must also be stated that the flavor of an alkalized powder varies with the starting material nib or cocoa cake.

As flavor is subjective and personal, it is difficult to say which yields the best product. Excellent products are available from both starting materials, and the

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