From the cocoa tree to the finished powder
Harvesting, fermentation, drying – a fascinating journey to the beginning of the cocoa universe.
- What are the processing steps before a Becks cocoa™ can is filled with cocoa powder?
- How do producers develop the characteristic cocoa aroma?
- And how does drying affect the cocoa beans?
It is a fascinating journey from harvesting to fermentation, drying and transport: discover with us the origins of delicious cocoa creations!
It begins with the harvest:
The cocoa farmers cut the pods from the trees with poled harvesting knives. Once on the ground, they are opened with a machete so that the beans and pulp can be scooped out.
The next step is fermentation.
On average, at least 50 kilograms of cocoa beans (including pulp) are required. Growers pile them on banana leaves before covering them with another layer of leaves. (Some producers prefer to do this fermentation in a hole in the ground). Some larger farms or cooperatives place the beans and pulp in wooden crates. In both cases, they look for temperatures between 55 and 58 ° C for fermentation.
During fermentation, various chemical and biological processes separate the pulp from the beans. The alcohol produced during fermentation eliminates some of the bitter tannins and ensures that the seeds cannot germinate. At this stage, the characteristic aromas and / or pre-aromas begin to develop, as well as the brown color.
Once fermentation is complete, the cacao beans are spread out on mats or trays and left to dry in the tropical sun for one to two weeks. The heat and sunlight reduce the moisture content of the beans, evoke more flavors, and preserve the beans for further use.
Most cocoa beans are shipped to Europe and North America for further processing. After the debris is removed and roasted, they are broken open and their contents ground. The resulting cocoa liquor is pressed through a sieve under high pressure to reduce the butter content to 10-24 percent. Once this is achieved, the resulting press cake undergoes a final grinding step.