When you bite into a smooth, rich chocolate bar you probably wondered how a small cocoa bean can get transformed into something so delightful. These tiny cocoa beans go through a rigorous process and one such process is the “cracking & winnowing process”.
Cracking & winnowing is the process of separating the husk from the cocoa bean. The husk must be separated as much as possible otherwise the chocolate will have a bitter and unpleasant after taste with a brittle texture. Before this process, the beans are roasted this allows the husk to become loose.
It is the process of applying pressure on the cocoa beans such that the husk will break away from the bean. Most cocoa processing systems consist of a cocoa breaker that cracks the roasted cocoa bean. The principle of grinding teeth is applied to break the cocoa beans. This system is popular in Vietnam. Before the process of cracking the cocoa beans are run through roasting process.
The cocoa beans are fed into the inlet hopper of the beaker and the beans are agitated, this allows the beans to be easily cracked. The agitator will also avoid the beans from getting unnecessarily crushed. The broken shells and nibs are then passed onto the raking system after which the mix is fed to the winnower.
It is the process of separating the husk from the cocoa nibs such that only the nibs remain.
Once the mix is fed into the winnower the cocoa nibs are sent cascading down a series of screens by intense vibration. They fall through pipes and pass-through screens, while they are subjected to vacuum. The vacuum sucks away the light, dry shell leaving behind the intense, roasted nib.
New studies have found that the centrifugal breaking system is more advantageous as it separates the husk more efficiently than the traditional method.
For this process, the beans are poured into the breaking device from the feeding hopper. The cocoa beans get broken down and are stored there for a while. The beans are then slowly transferred to a screen with iron ridges. This screen will vibrate thereby separating the husks and the nib. The husks will then be drawn into the vacuum. After the husks have been separated the cocoa nibs are ready for the next process: Conching Process.
Now that you know all about cracking & winnowing we hope you appreciate the efforts and technology that goes into making a chocolate from Bean to Bar. If you are looking for good cracking & winnowing machines we recommend
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