Frequently asked questions

What are chocolate characteristics?

Humanity has known cocoa since over 5 millenium and chocolate is definitely one of the most popular sweets in the world. Worldwide yearly sales of chocolate reach 100 billion US Dollar. Chocolate is made from the cocoa beans of the cacao tree (Latin name: Theobroma cacao). The cocoa beans grow in the fruit pods of the tree and are gathered when the fruit pods are ripe.

The first step in the process of chocolate making, is cocoa beans fermentation. These beans are then baked and grounded in order to create cocoa liquor. The two main ingredients of every kind of chocolate are extracted from the cocoa liquor- cocoa mass and cocoa butter. The cocoa mass, a thick and smooth paste is made from the dry parts of the cocoa beans. Cocoa butter is the fat content of the cocoa beans, product of the cocoa liquor mechanical pressing.

The antioxidants rich content of the cocoa boosts brain function and regulates heart pressure improving blood circulation opening the blood vessels thanks to theobromine, increasing oxygen supply to the brain and therefore improving its function. Chocolate consumption also prevents the development of different diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart diseases such as hypertensive heart disease and others.

Regular chocolate consumption of cocoa-rich chocolate, decreases cholesterol levels and the risk of heart diseases, thus lowering chances of heart attacks, and it strengthens the immune system. Regular chocolate consumption can make us happy because after a person takes a bite from a chocolate bar, the body starts producing an additional amount of endorphins and this activates the brain's pleasure center.

What type of chocolates?

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Chocolate is a range of foods derived from cocoa (cacao), mixed with fat (e.g., cocoa butter) and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation.

  1. Milk chocolate is solid chocolate made with milk (milk powder, liquid milk, or condensed milk).
  2. White chocolate is made of sugar, milk, and cocoa butter, without the cocoa solids.
  3. Cocoa powder is used for baking, and for drinking with added milk and sugar.
  4. Organic chocolate is chocolate which has been a certified organic ingredient.
  5. "Raw chocolate" is chocolate that has not been processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients.
  6. Unsweetened chocolate (bitter, baking chocolate, or cooking chocolate) is pure chocolate liquor mixed with some form of fat to produce a solid substance.
  7. Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to which some sugar (less than a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla flavouring, and sometimes lecithin have been added. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred to as "couverture".
  8. Semisweet chocolate is a dark chocolate with (by definition in Swiss usage) half as much sugar as cocoa, beyond which it is "sweet chocolate". Semisweet chocolate does not contain milk solids and is frequently used for cooking purposes.
  9. Couverture is used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter with a high percentage of cocoa.
  10. Compound chocolate is the technical term for a confection combining cocoa with vegetable fat, usually tropical fats and/or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement for cocoa butter. In many countries it may not legally be called "chocolate".
  11. Modeling chocolate is a chocolate paste made by melting chocolate and combining it with corn syrup, glucose syrup, or golden syrup, and flavours such (mint, vanilla, coffee...).

Cocoa processing

Bean selection and quality criteria
Before processing, the quality of beans is evaluated using the following indicators: degree of fermentation; moisture content (maximum 6%); number of defects; number of broken beans; bean count (number per 100 g); degree of mouldiness; flavour profile; colour; fat content (minimum 52%); fat quality relating to percentage of free fatty acids (as oleic acid); shell content (10-12%) and uniformity of bean size. On the international cocoa market, different bean sizes attract different prices. Beans with smaller sizes usually contain proportionately lower amount of nibs, higher shell content, lower fat content and attract lesser prices. Flavour quality also may vary from year to year, crop to crop, etc., and therefore requires a continuous assessment of availability of the beans before using them in recipe formulations.

Cocoa beans are roasted to develop further the original cocoa flavour that exists in the form of precursors generated during the processes of fermentation and drying of the beans. The roasting temperature varies between 90 and 170℃ depending on the type of roasting adopted.

Cocoa roasted beans are passed through the processes of winnowing to obtain nibs of uniform size to achieve constant quality.

Chocolate manufacturing processes

Mixing + Refining + Conching + Tempering and depositing + Moulding and demoulding

Mixing of ingredients (cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, milk fat and milk powder depending on product category) normally for 12-15 minutes at 40-50℃ during chocolate manufacture is a fundamental operation employed using time-temperature combinations in a continuous or batch mixers to obtain constant formulation consistency.

Mixtures of sugar and cocoa liquor (and milk solids depending on the type of chocolate) are refined to particle size of less than 30 µm for a smooth texture.

Conching contributes to development of viscosity, final texture and flavour by agitating chocolate at more than 50℃ for few hours, removing moisture and volatile acid, promoting flavour development due to the prolonged mixing at elevated temperatures, giving a partly caramelised flavour in non-milk crumb chocolate, aiding reduction in viscosity of refiner pastes throughout the process, reducting in particle size and removing of particle edges.

Conching times and temperatures vary typically:
- for milk crumb 10-16 hours at 49-52℃,
- with milk powder products 16-24 hours at up to 60℃,
- and with dark chocolates at 70℃ and continue up to 82℃.
Replacing full-fat milk powder with skimmed milk powder and butter fat, temperatures up to 70℃ may be used.
To give chocolate a suitable viscosity, additional cocoa butter and lecithin can be added towards the end of conching to thin or liquefy the chocolate prior to tempering.

The final process is called tempering. The fats in cocoa butter can crystallize in six different forms (polymorphous crystallization). Tempering purpose is to assure that only the best stable crystal V glossy and firm is present to provide the best appearance and texture that will not degrade over time.

a. Generally, the chocolate is first heated to 45℃ (113℉) to melt all six forms of crystals.
b. Next, the chocolate is cooled to about 27℃ (81℉), which will allow crystal types IV and V to form. At this temperature, the chocolate is agitated to create many small crystal "seeds" which will serve as nuclei to create small crystals in the chocolate.
c. The chocolate is then heated to about 31℃ (88℉) to eliminate any type IV crystals, leaving just type V. After this point, any excessive heating of the chocolate will destroy the temper and this process will have to be repeated.

Chocolate defects

Fat bloom
Fat bloom occurs when fat crystals protruding chocolate, or chocolate-flavoured coating surface, disturb the reflection of light and appears visible as a whitish film of fat, usually covering the entire surface, making the products unacceptable for marketing and consumption.
Fat bloom can be caused by any or combinet following factors: insufficient crystallisation during tempering; recrystallisation without appropriate tempering; differences in temperature between the chocolate and the centre; incorrect cooling conditions; fat migration; touch, also known as touch bloom; inappropriate storage conditions, i.e. humidity and temperature.
When optimally tempered products are stored under high temperatures or exposed to sunlight, chocolate melts, and during re-crystallisation, in the absence of seeding ensuring direct formation of the stable form (V), a gradual transition from unstable to stable forms results in fat bloom.
Fat blooming may also occur with chocolates that have centres (mostly nut centres). Usually, liquid fat from the centres migrates and consequently reaches surfaces along with some cocoa butter.
Re-crystallisation of this cocoa butter results in fat bloom.

Sugar bloom
Sugar bloom occurs through either poor storage conditions (high humidity) or rapid transition of products from an area of low to high temperature. Both conditions result in sweating of the chocolate, which consequently dissolves sugar. As the surface water evaporates, sugar crystals remain on the surfaces, producing a white appearance.
This phenomenon is often confused with fat bloom but is completely different. The difference can be established by heating the chocolate to 38℃. Fat bloom disappears at this temperature, whereas sugar bloom remains visible.


Beiyan undertakes to provide Products which comply with all the national and European laws and regulations in force.

Beiyan's warranty applies solely to the flaws which have been discovered by the Client and notified to Beiyan over a period of one year.

Unless specified in particular conditions, the warranty period is 12 months following the date of availability.

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