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What Is Chocolate?

Chocolate is made from two basic ingredients: cocoa and sugar. For milk chocolate, milk is also added. When these foods are processed together, usually with lecithin, an emulsifier, and vanillin, a flavour, the characteristic taste and aroma of chocolate are developed.

The cocoa plant is a small tree originating in tropical America and later introduced to other tropical regions, particularly in Africa. It produces pods containing beans and it is from these beans that cocoa is produced and, from the cocoa, chocolate is made.

Many centuries ago, the people of central America drank a spiced "chocolate" preparation, completely different from the chocolate we know today. The Spanish introduced "chocolate" to Europe and made it more appetising by adding sugar.

In the 19th century, developments in various European countries led to chocolate as we know it today. The most important of these were the addition of milk and the invention of the conching process which greatly improved the flavour of chocolate.

Although the technology of chocolate processing has evolved and applications for chocolate have multiplied beyond imagination, the basic product has remained much the same until now. But with the invention of reduced-fat Conched Chocolate Powder at the beginning of the 21st century this is about to change.

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