Energy reduction in chocolate manufacturing

Lead University: University of Birmingham

Professor Peter Fryer, Professor Serafim Bakalis, Dr Andy Ingram, Charlotte Losson

Collaboration: Mondelez

Summary

Despite the fact that the average Briton consumes 11 kg of chocolate each year, the process by which chocolate is manufactured has not changed dramatically since the early 1900’s. This project is focussed on understanding the pasting step in the manufacture of chocolate, where sugar, milk powder, cocoa fat and cocoa solids are first mixed together. The industry considers chocolate pasting only as a prerequisite to the refining step; a process which mixes the ingredients and distributes the fat before grinding. Because of this, the pasting of chocolate has been overlooked.

The aim of this project is to develop a technique that can quantify the rheological properties of the paste. This technique will then be used to quantify how much paste fluctuates during mixing & how process settings can impact the paste texture. Finally, the downstream process performance can then be quantified to understand what the most beneficial consistency of the paste would be to increase throughput, quality and reduce energy usage.

Highlights

  • Higher energy input to the paste found to thin the paste consistency
  • Higher paste temperatures found to also reduce the paste consistency
  • New method has shown repeatable results in initial tests with model pastes

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