It is estimated that folks across the world consume nearly 7.2 million metrics a lot of chocolate every year. That’s over two pounds (almost a kilogram) of chocolate for every single person on Earth. It’s easy to grasp why. Chocolate could be a one-of-a-kind treat that’s beloved the planet over with its unique combination of rich flavor compounds, fats, and (sometimes) sugar, and its ability to be made into numerous forms and designs.
For many people, there’s a deep, nostalgic attachment to their favorite chocolate brands. Once they had their first life-altering taste of this incredible confection, one bite can instantly take them back to their childhoods. What’s less known is how this excellent substance makes it to our taste buds while nearly everyone knows they love chocolate.
The process of taking a cacao pod and turning it into a delicious chocolate candy may be a complete mystery to the general public. It’s a process that has deep roots in history going back thousands of years and yet is just possible with modern industrial technology made within the last century and a half. And therefore the process continues to be refined as digital technology advances, with industrial PCs and tablets playing vital roles within the modern chocolate-making process.
This World Chocolate Day, we want to celebrate the ways in which technology helps bring this decadent treat to the globe.
A Brief History of Chocolate
Though the bulk of cacao is now grown in a geographic region, cacao trees are native to Central and South America. Scientists and archeologists disagree on exactly how long humans are consuming cacao beans, but it’s generally accepted that we’ve done so for a minimum of 2000 years. The practice originated in what’s now Mexico, with the Mayans and possibly the Olmecs before them. These cultures, together with the Aztecs, consumed cacao as a hot beverage.
When Spanish colonists conquered the Aztec empire, it went on for thousands of years until the 1500s. As to how we got the word “Chocolate,” the Spanish picked up the practice of drinking cacao from the Aztecs, who called the drink “xocoatl.” Back in Europe, the Spanish exported the practice, where it caught on among the ECU elite. In Europe, people began adding milk and sugar to the present drink to balance out its intense and bitter flavors.
It wasn’t until the economic Revolution that the fashionable chocolate candy as we all know it took shape. Invented two of the foundational processes of recent chocolate making are Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten and his father Casparus within the 1800s. Extracting the fats from liquid chocolate and separating them from the cocoa solids, Casparus invented the chocolate press first. Then Coenraad developed some way to require the solids, chemically remove their most bitter flavors, and switch them into usable chocolate. Called Dutch Process Cocoa, the merchandise he invented remains considered the gold standard for chocolate production.
Digital Technology Helps Makes Chocolate Better
Fast-forward to the 21st century. Chocolate could be a massive international business with companies in dozens of nations shipping out various chocolate bars and other products to eager customers worldwide. From bean sorting to shipping, this level of production and distribution level just wouldn’t be possible without modern digital technologies.
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Automated Bean Sorting
To confirm both consistency and quality in their products, chocolate makers have to be ready to sort through the beans they purchase and pick only those beans that meet their standards. Most companies can’t try this sorting by hand, given the sheer quantity of beans required for the chocolate-making process.
The only thanks to accomplishing this herculean task are thru automation. Sorting machines run cacao beans across a series of screens to arrange beans with the incorrect size and other impurities like dirt, stems, bits of bean shell, etc. In fact, this sorting process must occur twice, once with the full beans and again once the outer shell has been far from the nib to discard the useless shells.
Refinement with Digital Precision
The nibs will be processed into the chocolate products we all know and love after the bean shell is separated from the nib. Digital technology enhances each step of this process. As an example, industrial computers allow chocolate presses to run with the level of accuracy previously impossible, allowing chocolate makers to extract the minimum amount of cacao butter with little or no guesswork.
Once separated, the ingredients are mixed back together in numerous portions betting on the required final product. Allowing chocolate makers to combine the cacao butter, cacao powder, and other necessary ingredients back along with digital precision, industrial PCs, that are properly maintained to avoid the encounter of typical Windows problems like the ‘zlib1 dll is missing‘ error, also are crucial within the remixing process. To keep customers coming for more and more chocolaty goodness, this ensures the level of consistency and quality within the ending.
Additionally enhanced by digital technology is Conching, the all-important final step of the chocolate-making process. Additionally to refining the particles in chocolate all the way down to microscopic sizes to make sure a smooth mouthfeel, the method also releases many of the more bitter flavor compounds found in chocolate within the style of gas.
Industrial Tablets, Warehouse Management, and Logistics
Of course, making the chocolate itself is merely half the battle. Once it’s made, it’s to be packaged and shipped bent on retailers so it can ultimately attain its final destination, your mouth. To allow them to label, scan, and track their products with the push of a button, certain big-name chocolate manufacturers utilize Industrial Tablets in their batch labeling process.