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Chocolate bars are popular snacks and gifts for many occasions and events, dating back to the Mayans and the Aztecs. They may also include other ingredients such as caramel, fruits, or nuts. Considering making chocolate bars? Make sure, though, that your chocolate bar making equipment can cover various processes such as grinding and melting, tempering, refining, and cooling.

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Which chocolate bar making equipment can help you in making chocolate bars?

Chocolate bars are bar-shaped confections made of solid chocolate. The whole bean to bar chocolate making equipment focuses on two main processes: roasting and winnowing of cacao nibs and chocolate tempering. If you are sourcing tempered chocolate, your process will focus on melting your raw materials, refining, and cooling.

Tempering the chocolate allows the formation of Type V crystals, while refining the chocolate reduces the particle size of cocoa solids and crystals to 10 to 30 microns. Once the desired texture and flavor profile is achieved, a filling machine transfers your slurry to clean and dry molds.

A conveyor belt vibrates and shakes the mold to ensure proper settling of chocolate and removal of all air bubbles. Then chocolate is sent to a refrigeration room and allowed to cool. After cooling and solidifying, chocolate bars are removed from the molds, and you can then pack and wrap them in foil or paper packaging following the appropriate labeling standards.

Can you create chocolate bars without tempering the chocolate?

Definitely. That’s because some chocolate bars are made with compound chocolate. Compared to pure chocolate, compound chocolate comprises approximately 35-40% hard fat, 8-18% cocoa, about 2% milk solids, lecithin, and flavor. Isn’t anything missing? That’s right, cocoa butter.

Vegetable fats such as coconut oil and palm oil are used to replace cocoa butter in compound chocolate. Since there is no cocoa butter, you don’t have to temper your chocolate but simply melt it at approximately 35°C to 37°C. In this case, chocolate bars are not made by molding, but compound chocolate is used to replace enrobed chocolate on a product.

Pink is not just a color and ruby chocolate bars are proof of that

Last 2017, Barry Callebaut introduced the fourth variant of chocolate along with milk, dark and white varieties: the ruby chocolate. Compared to the chocolate we know, this type had a pink color and a slightly sweet and sour flavor. Ruby chocolate is made from the ruby cocoa beans by minimizing fermentation (no more than three days or less), treating them with an acid, and removing fatty acids to retain the color.

If you are planning to produce ruby chocolate bars, you can still use the same chocolate bar processing method. To make your ruby chocolate bars, you will also need to grind and melt the beans or bars, subject these to tempering and refinement, and finally to cooling, cutting, and packaging. Other than the ruby cacao beans, there is no difference in their production method or chocolate bar making equipment compared to pure chocolates, so get that pink on if you can!

Healthy chocolate bars: a dream or reality?

Chocolate bars and chocolate are not really considered a healthy food in general. However, studies have shown that there are compounds in chocolate that are helpful in maintaining overall body health.

The main ingredient, cocoa, contains flavonoids, such as catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidins, which help lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow. In addition, there have been studies proving it can be beneficial for your brain by enhancing the blood flow needed for memory and thinking.

Focusing on cocoa, you can efficiently market high-cocoa, high purity dark chocolates for these health effects. Higher cocoa content translates to a higher amount of these flavonoids, thereby increasing the health value of your chocolate bars. Some chocolate brands also add extra flavonoids for additional nutritional value. Furthermore, you may consider adding fresh ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, or nuts. Healthy artificial sweeteners, such as stevia and coconut sugar, may also be considered to improve sweetness while reducing calories.

Processing steps involved in chocolate-bars making

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