Chocolate refining for maximum results

Source: International Confectionery

Bühler, MacIntyre and Olam Cocoa discuss all the variables in chocolate production from sourcing to conching, and how it has developed to reflect the needs of society today.

Chocolate production crosses over a whole range of different processes – whether it be sourcing and collecting cocoa beans, conching, tempering, moulding – all these are consistently being developed to ensure the maximum efficiency and quality is being gained in final production. With mass production growing, customers are demanding machinery to be versatile, and offer quick solutions for a whole host of different uses.

As flavour develops and consumers are drawn to new trends over time, the processes involved in producing chocolate also need to be updated. For example, the rise in sugar-free confectionery and plant-based ingredients mean the structure of chocolate might change, and the machinery used to traditional ingredients and applications may need to upgrade to meet these challenges. As the coronavirus threat still continues to loom, people have been drawn to healthier ingredients and veganism has been a growing lifestyle change for many people, and changes in chocolate production reflect this. Throughout lockdown, chocolate quickly became a necessary item for many consumers looking to have an element of luxury to escape the current situation, and others have turned to it as a way of incorporating it into a healthier snack, this kind of relevance and ability to span various groups of people means it will continue to gain momentum even during such turbulent times.

Dr.Fritz Dorner, Managing Director, Head of Confectionery, Bühler AG says:

“One of most critical demands in today’s chocolate production is flexibility. Product life cycle is decreasing rapidly, individualised products are a strong trend, and diversification is key. With that in mind, Bühler continuously innovates, offering our customers more flexible solutions. One example is the new ChocoX (pronounced: Choco Cross). This moulding line is fully modular and so flexible that it’s possible to rebuild the line for a different kind of production within hours. In addition to increased food safety, the chainless line design lowers maintenance efforts.

With the recently acquired technologies for wafer and biscuits production in combination with cocoa roasting, mass preparation, tempering, ingredients handling, moulding or cooking, extrusion, enrobing and cooling, Bühler is also able to deliver nearly every processing solution on a single-source. Therefore, interfaces do not have to be managed by customers, worldwide service support concentrates on the whole line and production processes get optimised in quality.

All of this is built to drive customer success. Even with the challenges imposed by the coronavirus, overall chocolate production is still growing and remains relevant. Going forward, on the one hand, we see more and more a concentration (with larger companies acquiring smaller ones) in the industry. On the other hand, small, fast-growing companies with innovative products are sprouting up. Along with diversification and individualisation, we are also seeing a move toward more multiple hybrid products – combinations of diverse process technologies. Healthy and sustainable products are a trend.

For all, we offer custom-tailored solutions and with a quite diverse portfolio of services for effective and efficient production support we help the industry to manage this challenge. And finally we see digitalization having a stronger impact: this means not only remote support or predictive maintenance but as well with Bühler Insights cloud-based solutions for more transparency, data analysis or even integrated line control.”

Another way in which the chocolate production process is changing is customers are becoming more aware of waste and creating a strategy which utilises scrap ingredients which are usually discarded. Our developing world has a better understanding of how we can make use of 100% materials, or as close as, to ensure maximum profit and momentum for more sustainable methods.

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