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Fig. 3.7 Cocoa liquor alkalizer. Source: A.A. Martin Lloveras (Spain).

author's experience has been that powders produced by alkalizing nibs lack harsh notes and exhibit a more balanced flavor profile. They also tend to be more expensive and the product development specialist must determine if a product difference exists and warrants the increased cost. The pH of finished products also changes during Dutch processing and can range from 6.5 to 9.0 but can be adjusted to neutrality, if needed. Suffice it to say, the final colors and flavor profiles that are available vary as much as the numerous combinations of starting materials, process schemes and process conditions practiced by this phase of the industry (3).

All of the above efforts lead to one of the key ingredients in chocolate. It is chocolate liquor that can be natural or alkalized. Generally, the liquor will now move in one of three directions. It can be used as a source of flavor and color in a wide array of foods other than chocolate; it can go through a separation step which yields cocoa powder and cocoa butter; or it can be moved to the chocolate plant for producing chocolates and related products. Both natural and alkalized chocolate liquors are used in all these applications.

The use of chocolate liquor as a flavoring and coloring material in foods other than chocolate is not discussed further here. The separation step is covered here briefly since it does provide cocoa butter, an ingredient essential in chocolate making.

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