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The Importance of the Conching Process in
Chocolate Making

Conching is a key process used in making chocolate because the characteristic taste and aroma of chocolate are developed at this stage. The process involves heating and agitating for several hours the ingredients of chocolate - cocoa, cocoa butter, sugar, emulsifier and, usually, vanilla. For milk chocolate, milk is also included in the mix. The name "conching" arose because the original vessel used to hold the ingredients was shaped like a conch shell.

During conching, the mixture is aerated through agitation, interactions take place among the ingredients and browning reactions occur. As a result, the flavour and aroma of chocolate develop. At the same time the acidity and bitterness of cocoa are lost and the moisture content is reduced.

Conching, together with the refining process, also improves texture. The sandiness of cocoa gives way to the silky smoothness of chocolate.

Reduced-fat conched chocolate powder is made from conched chocolate. This is why its flavour and aroma are superior to those of cocoa.

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