When processing cocoa, any variations in raw material parameters and/or changes in processing steps creates cocoa and chocolate of varying properties. Intermediate products of this process (cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, cocoa powder, and others) are also sold based on quality parameters including fat content, and real-time analysis of these samples can help optimize the yield of a high-quality product.
As a result, there are multiple points in cocoa processing and chocolate manufacturing where accurate and timely analytical values can help control the process, saving money and improving quality.
Incorporating near infrared (NIR)technology is an effective way for cocoa processors to take measurements that ensure quality across several stages and related processes, including:
- Measuring moisture at intake to the roasting and winnowing process to remove shells from the cocoa beans
- Measuring moisture and oil content of the cocoa nibs after de-shelling
- Analyzing moisture and fat content after the nibs are ground into the cocoa liquor or mass
- To make chocolate, cocoa liquor is mixed with sugar and cocoa butter to produce the final product. From there, chocolate can be analyzed for fat, moisture, and sugar, before it is packaged for distribution
- NIR technology can be used to assess parameters of all incoming ingredients – including cocoa and chocolate –to ensure quality throughout all phases of production
KPM Analytics offers a variety of ready-to-use at-line/laboratory solutions or in-process NIR systems tailored to obtain these insights to take greater control over your process.