You are right; chocolate is one of the most popular food manufacturing items worldwide. As the chocolate manufacturing market grows tremendously and has enormous competition, many have gotten involved in this industry only to make a good fortune commercially. But do they succeed? Even though there is possible to earn a handsome amount through this, the chances of facing failure are very high because of the number of mistakes we make in chocolate’s manufacturing process.
This article will talk about the most significant mistakes in chocolate manufacturing that you should be aware of to prevent. Chocolates are the best-loved treat among kids and adults alike. However, even the best foods in the world can go south when incorrectly processed while manufacturing. The chocolate manufacturing industry is big business. Just like any other product, there are unique challenges when it comes to making chocolates. All along the line, there are numerous steps taken to process the product that can quickly go wrong if not done right.
History of Chocolate Manufacturing Gone Wrong
While the chocolate manufacturing industry has seen growth in recent years, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. Several losses have hindered growth and threatened the livelihoods—and even lives—of chocolate makers and their families. Let’s take a closer look at some of these setbacks:
In 2007, there was a loss of $2.9 million due to an explosion of a boiler at the Mogul Chocolate Factory. While you will not hear of injury reports, the blast did result in small fires that took hours to put out. In 2009, another boiler explosion killed two workers and left three others injured in the same factory.
In 1988, Hershey’s lost $100 million when it recalled almost five million chocolate bars due to a printing error that described the ingredients as including “milk, eggs, and peanuts” instead of “milk, soya, and peanuts.”
In 1998, Nestlé lost $2 billion when it recalled 30 million candy bars due to the risk of choking. That same year, Hershey’s had to place more than half a billion candies due to the possibility of blocking as well.
In 2000, Mars had to recall Mars Bars and Snickers from 55 countries in Europe and Asia because up to 90% of items were contaminated with pieces of plastic that were accidentally mixed in with the chocolate during manufacturing.
In 2014, a German chocolate manufacturer left a machine running for days. The result was over [number] tons of molten chocolate pouring into their factory and onto the street outside. While this could have been an eco-disaster, luckily, all the chocolate was recovered and repurposed as bars for local convenience stores.
A few months later, in Australia, another chocolate manufacturer caused an even more significant loss when they had trouble with their warehouse system. Over a thousand tons of chocolate crashed to the ground and shattered into thousands of tiny chips.
You can get a pretty strong idea about how risky manufacturing losses are to your chocolate manufacturing brand. Even the largest chocolate manufacturers have been a victim of the same. However, that does not reduce the demand for chocolate consumption. So, let us look at the market valuation for the chocolate manufacturing industry.
Current Market Value of the chocolate manufacturers
The food process manufacturing industry consists of companies that manufacture various food and beverage products. These companies are often involved in producing ready-to-eat products, while others may require intermediate processing before being ready for human consumption.
For many years, the chocolate manufacturers have dominated this industry, which they still dominate today. The overall food process manufacturing industry is worth $340 billion, so chocolate manufacturers make up 3.3% of this market. In 2018, the chocolate manufacturing subsector of the food process manufacturing industry was $11.3 million.
It is a staggering increase from 2017, seeing the industry worth $10.7 million. The industry’s market value increased to $27.2B from $20B, over 30% in the past five years.
Chocolate manufacturers have a current market value of nearly $78 million in the food process manufacturing industry. This industry includes companies that produce chocolates and other confectionery products, including candy bars, marshmallows, and hard candy.
The food process manufacturing industry will be worth $14.5 million by 2024, and chocolate manufacturers will play a massive role in that growth.
Steps Involved in a chocolate manufacturing process.
Chocolate is a universally loved substance, and let’s go through how you make it. It’s crucial to analyze each step involved to pinpoint where these manufacturing errors usually occur.
Making chocolate begins with you harvesting cacao beans from the tree pods. The beans are then dried and roasted to remove the outer shell, called the nibs.
Next, you want to make cocoa powder; ground the nibs into a paste known as chocolate liquor. Press this paste to extract cocoa butter, leaving a solid mass called press cake. Pulverize the press cake into cocoa powder.
Add back the cocoa butter produced during the first step into the cocoa powder to make chocolate. You may add cocoa solids if you need more color or a more robust flavor. Then add sugar to the mixture and milk solids or milk fat for milk chocolate. You can also add various other ingredients depending on the desired outcome.
The mixture’s refining process improves its texture by slightly removing tiny particles and aerating them. It then undergoes conching, which further smooths out its texture and contributes to flavor
development. During conching, add liquid ingredients and additional cocoa butter for milk chocolates and white chocolates.
The mixture is then poured into molds and cooled until it hardens into the desired shape. Then it is packed into attractive packaging and transported.
Now that we have revised our chocolate manufacturing process, let’s dive deep into each step and analyze the errors usually committed or have a chance of happening.
Seven most significant manufacturing errors in the chocolate Manufacturing process
The chocolate manufacturing process is a delicate dance of timing, temperature, and movement, with each variable affecting the quality of the final product. Executing the strategy requires a careful balance between these variables, but some steps require more attention than others. These seven errors have the most significant negative impact on the end product’s quality:
1) Not allowing enough time for tempering
The tempering process involves heating the chocolate to a specific temperature and cooling it back down before putting it into molds. It ensures that the chocolate will maintain its shape when it’s cooled and that it’ll have a nice snap when you bite into it.
It’s essential to allow enough time to temper chocolate in the manufacturing process. It ensures that the pieces are glossy and come together correctly, and the components you should make in large volumes. When you’re making any finished product with chocolate, you need to give it enough time for the heat to reduce and the ingredients to mix properly. If you don’t allow enough time, you may end up with chalky or greasy products, or they may break when they’re shipped or consumed. It can reflect poorly on your company’s brand and cause people to lose trust in what you have to offer, so make sure that you’re allowing enough time to temper your process.
2) Getting impatient while waiting for tempering to finish
Chocolate manufacturers often have to wait for the tempering process to finish, which can be a time-consuming task.
You can determine the waiting time by several factors, including the type of chocolate and the amount of chocolate. The process involves melting and cooling the chocolate, so it should not be rushed or interrupted.
There are some ways to speed up the process without risking quality.
If your chocolate isn’t tempering as quickly as you need, try using a marble slab instead of a metal one; this will help reduce heat transference and cool the chocolate more quickly. You should also check your thermometer—a good thermometer will make sure the temperature of your chocolate is consistent throughout its mass.
Finally, remember that if you’ve heated your chocolate above 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), you’ll need to let it cool until it reaches 88 degrees Fahrenheit before reheating it.
3) Not paying attention to how much chocolate you pour into tempering equipment
First, let’s look at some of the problems caused by inaccurate measurements.
As an example, you might decide to measure the amount of chocolate you put into your tempering equipment by filling your bucket with water until the chocolate measures one-third full. But what happens when you need more? You can’t just use more water—you’ll have to add more chocolate! And now your formula will be off because there’s more water in the mix than before.
It’s essential to pay attention to how much chocolate you pour into tempering equipment. Too little will not affect the quality of your product, but too much could be harmful if your equipment doesn’t have enough room for the batch.
If you find yourself facing this issue, here are some things to check:
· Is there a channel clog conveying melted chocolate into your tempering equipment? You might have to clean this out with a butter knife or other sharp utensils.
· Have you calibrated your tempering equipment recently? It would be best to do this every month to ensure everything works properly.
· Are there any cracks in the pipe that supplies melted chocolate from the melter to your tempering equipment? It could cause air bubbles to form in your tempered chocolate.
The best way to avoid this problem is by carefully measuring your ingredients using a scale or measuring cups each time before pouring them into the machine.
4) Warming tempering equipment too much to speed up the tempering process
If you perform one of these steps too quickly, the results can be disastrous, affecting the taste and texture of the finished product. An experienced chocolate manufacturer who knows the tempering equipment’s ins and outs can use a warming tempering machine to speed up this process without sacrificing quality. However, warming tempering equipment can overheat the chocolate if misused, ruining it. The solution is to improve the tempering process while reducing manufacturing time by 25%. Using a combination of high-grade boiling stones and good ol’ fashion elbow grease, they have created an entirely new kind of tempering equipment that can increase the temperature of the tempering vats by up to 10 degrees Celsius per minute. Since this new equipment reduces manufacturing time by 25%, it also reduces associated costs by 30%, making these warming tempering machines an affordable option for any size or type of business.
5) Skipping or neglecting to test chocolate after tempering is complete
Good tempering is crucial because it makes chocolate more resistant to external forces. That includes scratches, temperature changes, and other stresses that can compromise the quality of the chocolate. Proper tempering ensures that the chocolate will maintain its shape and texture when handled while still adhering to high aesthetic standards.
The actual tempering process is not complex, but you must do it precisely to accomplish what it’s supposed to. Chocolatiers must first heat the chocolate to between 104°F and 108°F, then cool it down between 92°F and 94°F before finishing with another heating phase at 82°F to 86°F. When you follow this process correctly, the cocoa butter in the chocolate will solidify in a particular pattern based on specific factors: time of tempering or cooling, type of chocolate, and even humidity. It is what gives each type of chocolate its unique look and feel.
Test the tempering process after it completes to ensure it is correct. If the tempering is incomplete, the chocolate is not ready for packaging and selling until it is tempered again. The incorrect tempering of chocolate will affect both its taste and appearance, which are two crucial aspects of selling a product. Skipping or neglecting to test chocolate after tempering is complete can lead to severe issues with your manufacturing process and loss of profit and should be taken seriously.
6) Using improper packaging methods during shipping and storage
Shipping and storage temperature can have a significant impact on chocolate quality. If the temperature shifts during shipping or the packaged product are not stored at the correct temperature or humidity, the chocolate can be damaged.
To ensure your product arrives in perfect condition and maintains its integrity during storage, it is essential to follow best practices for packaging and shipping.
The critical aspect of chocolate production is to keep it away from moisture, heat, and light; this requires careful packaging design to ensure that it retains its perfect texture and taste until consumption.
Many steps ensure your product is appropriately packaged and stored for shipping during the chocolate manufacturing process. Improper packaging methods could lead to a wide variety of issues, including:
-Damage to the final product
-Loss of sanitation during the packaging process
-Incorrect labeling/packaging of products
-Injury of employees who are handling packaging equipment
7) Failing to clean equipment thoroughly before use
In particular, many manufacturers have been accused of failing to clean equipment thoroughly before use in the chocolate manufacturing process.
To avoid these issues, manufacturers must take extra care to ensure that each piece of equipment has been adequately sanitized before it is used to create high-quality products. The most effective way to do this is by using an autoclave that delivers steam at high pressures and temperatures to effectively kill dangerous pathogens on any equipment or surface it touches.
The FDA recommends that all equipment used in the production of chocolate be thoroughly cleaned before its use; ideally, equipment should be sanitized with a chlorine solution or other sanitizing agents and rinsed thoroughly with clean water before use. As an alternative to direct cleaning and sanitizing of equipment, manufacturers may opt to store their equipment in a separate room or locker used only to store chocolate-making equipment until used again. When used equipment is cleaned and sanitized before storage, steps should be taken to ensure that the sanitizing solution does not contact the food being stored.
In the chocolate manufacturing industry, quality is of the utmost importance. Customers have high expectations when it comes to taste, appearance, and texture, as well as ingredients and health standards. Unfortunately, there are countless ways that things can go wrong in the production process.
The consequences of not meeting these standards are numerous—from a bad reputation among customers to increased costs incurred by having to throw out the product or recall batches. There could also be fines from the government or a loss of profits due to decreased sales. A chocolate manufacturer’s greatest enemy is an error.
If you’re in charge of ensuring your company’s chocolate factory stays up to speed with current regulations and meets all legal requirements, we want to help you get started.
Sangeetha brings 20 years of experience in Information Technology which includes Solution architecting, building micro services, research, and evaluation of business applications, integrating apps.