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Anon. "Formulating with chocolate and cocoa".
Beverage Industry 2001; 92 (12): 41-42, 44.

(Extract)

Another option to solve the settling problem comes from Natra SA, which produces a conched chocolate powder as opposed to cocoa powder. Natra's process creates a fine powder from chocolate, and results in an ingredient that is more soluble than cocoa power.

"We partially remove the fat [from the chocolate] and pulverize what is left over," says Natra's Albert Zumbe. "You get a very fine powder. It's a proprietary process, and Natra is the only company in the Western world to have access to it."

Zumbe also points out that the process does not use chemicals or additives, which can make it attractive to consumers.

Natra, which has a U.S. office in Chula Vista, Calif., offers the conched chocolate powder in white chocolate, milk chocolate, plain (dark) chocolate and extra-strong plain chocolate varieties. Plain chocolate contains 40 percent cocoa solids, whereas extra-strong contains 70 percent. The chocolate is available as a powder, a free-flowing agglomerate, or as freeze-dried granules.

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Zumbe says Natra's conched chocolate powder has no real beverage-making limitations, but manufacturers should take care not to overheat the beverages during pateurization.

If you're using old-fashioned pasteurization or strilization equipment, where you're heating to very high temperatures for a long time, you're going to damage the flavor," he says. "But is you've got modern UHT retorting equipment, it's no problem."

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Natra's Zumbe sees a potential market in white chocolate beverages.

"There are white chocolate beverages around, but they can't seem to grow because there aren't enough white chocolate offerings available. I think that's an area that would grow if there were more white chocolate powders available," he says.

White chocolate is also a challenge because white chocolate is not considered "real" chocolate. White chocolate is cocoa butter combined with sugar and milk, but it contains no cocoa solids and often has little chocolate taste.

Natra's method of producing white chocolate makes use of cocoa butter that is extracted from the plain chocolate.

"We call that 'chocolate butter', and our chocolate butter actually has chocolate flavor," says Zumbe.

© Copyright 2002 The Chocolate Powder Company