The production process

From mass and butter to chocolate
Chocolate is made from cocoa mass, with sugar, cocoa butter and optionally, milks added. The resulting mixture is rolled and 'conched'. ProductionprocessConching is a treatment whereby chocolate is kept in continuos movement to allow the cocoa mass to thicken and to develop into a homogenous substance. This process allows volatile acids to escape, whereby the aroma is improved. Conching lasts for a number of hours. The name originates from the shell shaped container in which the treatment took place in former days ('concha being the Spanish word for shell). Depending on the desired taste, other ingredients may be added.

Finally, the hot chocolate mass must be allowed to cool slowly. This process, called 'tempering', is important for the crystallisation of the cocoa of the cocoa butter. After tempering, the chocolate can be poured into any desired form and hardened. During the hardening process the volume of the chocolate is reduced, allowing the chocolate to come out of the mould automatically.

White chocolate is made in a manner similar to 'ordinary' chocolate, the only difference being that white chocolate does not contain any cocoa mass; just cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.

Specialisation
Until the middle of the century it was customary for the manufactured to do their own roasting, make semimanufactured cocoa products and, in addition, market their own consumer products. Those days are practically gone. At present two groups can be distinguished in the Dutch cocoa industry: producers of intermediate cocoa products and manufacturers of chocolate.

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