Presented by Rick Earley, Beverage Market Manager
Chocolate can make you feel better, and it's good for you too! We eat it for its lush, desirable mouth feel, for the way it melts on our tongues, and for the delicious pleasure it gives. Chocolate may also:
- trigger the release of endorphins, brain chemicals that provide feelings of calm and relaxation, reducing stress and pain
- protect your "good" cholesterol, the HDL
- not raise the "bad" cholesterol, the LDL
- guard against strokes and heart attacks by thinning blood, much as aspirin does
- act as an antioxidant. Like red wine and blueberries, it is a defense against air pollution, smoking and ultraviolet radiation.
- contain flavanoids, compounds found in chocolate and other plants, that bring rapid, positive changes to the blood
Cocoa products have been a favorite in Europe since the 16th century, when Spanish conquistadors brought it back from the Aztecs in Mexico. Of course, indigenous people enjoyed it long before then. Cocoa comes from the Cocoa tree, native to Central America, now cultivated around the equator in tropical climates. Cocoa beans are dried, roasted and pressed to yield cocoa liquor. This is further processed and separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Chocolate is a blend of cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and sugar. In 1875, Henri Nestlé in Switzerland, added condensed milk to make milk chocolate. White chocolate is made without cocoa liquor, only cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla flavor.
Working with cocoa powder as an ingredient in other foods can be tricky. It contains a natural starch so it develops considerable viscosity in water. When mixed with sugar and milk solids, the batch becomes dense and viscous. A recipe may have the stiff but light consistency of whipped frosting, or the heavy weight of fudge.
The Rotosolver high shear mixer is excellent for dispersing cocoa powder. For high concentrations, we recommend using a jacketed (heated) kettle with an anchor sweep scraped surface agitator and the Rotosolver. The Rotosolver can work at high temperatures when necessary, is not harmed by fine sugar crystals, and is very efficient in converting horsepower to intense high-speed mixing.
The Rotosolver can dissolve granulated sugar quickly in cold water; quickly disperse the lumps of agglomerated cocoa powder, blending them into a smooth syrup with micron sized particles; and emulsify cocoa butter into fine droplets.
The Fastfeed powder induction and dispersion system provides rapid introduction and dispersion of cocoa powder. The ergonomic system features a large hopper to feed your powders at ground level, and the Optifeed venturi eductor quickly sucks the solids into the mix tank eliminating climbing.