All about cocoa
Table of Contents
Cacao, also known as Theobroma cacao, is a tropical evergreen tree native to South America. And it is cultivated for its seeds, commonly called cocoa beans, which are used to make cocoa powder, chocolate, and other chocolate-based products. Cacao has been used by the indigenous people of South America for centuries and has now become a major commodity in the global economy, with countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia being some of the largest producers. In this article, we will discuss the history, production and use of cocoa.
This magical food, which is consumed on our best days, has a special place in our lives since more than two thousand years ago. They even called it “Theobroma Cacao” which means food of the gods.
The story of chocolate is a very unique story that starts from the depths of tropical forests, to the ancient religious rituals of the Aztecs, to the fascination of European royal families, and from there to our modern lives. A journey full of mystery, magic and art.
The roots of the cocoa tree are in the tropical forests and have been part of human culture for more than two thousand years. Central American Maya and Aztecs killed Cocoa much before the Europeans enter the US. It was the Maya, which for the first time in the crushed cocoa beans, invented a drink used in the court and religious rituals. Later, Aztecs called the name of the beverage made from cocoa beans, “chocolate”, “the hot drink”.
In the middle of the seventeenth century, those who were financially capable of drinking chocolates throughout Europe were drinking chocolate. “Chocolate Homes” in the UK were among the popular social circles where chocolate was consumed, and people believed that it was very healthy.
The first chocolate factory in the United States was founded in 1765. And until the 19th century, chocolate was generally a drink. With the advancement of technology in the nineteenth century, chocolate was produced solid, and at the same time, Switzerland added chocolate to milk powder and invented chocolate. In the 19th century, chocolate was made available to everyone due to mass production methods.
Today, the US Army puts chocolate in the food quota of its soldiers and chocolate is used as an astronaut diet.
The story of all chocolates starts with cocoa seeds, which is the fruit of the cocoa tree. The cocoa tree is a tropical plant that grows only in a warm and rainy climate. Cocoa is just 20 degrees north and south of the equator. This delicate tree needs to be protected against light and direct wind for growth and is usually planted under the shade of taller trees, providing the necessary shade. A cocoa tree reaches approximately 4.5 to 7.5 meters in its full maturity.
Pink and white flowers are broken on the main trunk of the cocoa tree. Of the thousands of flowers you grow in each tree, less than ten percent of it becomes fruit. These oval fruits contain seeds that later become cocoa seeds. The fruits grow exactly on the main trunk and large branches. At first they are green or red and the ripe fruits of cocoa are golden or orange.
Through sustainable agricultural methods, crumb farmers are planted as part of a diverse agricultural environment to support the farmer economically year -by -year. The main beauty of the work is that in addition to the economic benefit of the farmer, the cocoa land creates the environment for wildlife in the region, including indigenous and immigrant species. Biological diversity in cocoa cultivation is one of the most important aspects. Biodiversity means more crop for the farmer.
Almost all of the cocoa creatures in the world go to small fields. Less than five percent come from large farms, hundreds of trees planted together. Agriculture in such a scale places the trees against direct sunlight. Such an issue makes trees sensitive to diseases and pests, thereby requiring expensive pesticides. The Cocoa World Foundation supports cocoa production in a sustainable way and its producers around the world. In West Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, the foundation teaches farmers with the efficient ways of producing quality cocoa production in a sustainable way. This training has reduced plant diseases and pests in these trees, increased product quality and more income for crumbs.
In family farmland around the world, farmers, like their pre -generations, cultivate cocoa fruits. Using a large knife, they separate the fruits from each tree. Experienced farmers are definitely recognizing the ripe cocoa from color. Cocoa fruits arrive throughout the year because the fruit growth season is in the equator. After harvesting, the fruits open and come out of each of the fifty yellow seeds each with a gelatin sugary pulp. They are then filled in sacks. The seeds and pulp are poured into a place for five days to ferment. The seeds in these five days make biochemical changes, their taste changes, their bitterness increases, and the yellow seeds become brown. After the fermentation, the cocoa fruit seeds take on the familiar taste of cocoa. To maintain and maintain cocoa seeds, just like other juicy fruits, they must be dried. They spread the cocoa on the mat and regularly cut them for a week. This can be done on a farm or factory. Dried seeds, now called raw cocoa, are packaged and sent to the market to be sent to chocolate factories around the world.
At the chocolate factory, cocoa seeds are inspected and approved by the qualitative control sector. All raw materials must be tested before entering the production line to ensure the production of a high quality product.
Quality control continues with chocolate sampling during production. When the cocoa seeds pass through the inspection, it is cleaned and crushed to show its true taste. Cocoa seeds are roasted in large cylindrical devices from 30 minutes to 2 hours. This controlled heat makes the seeds brown and improve its taste and smell. As soon as the roasted grains are cooled, another device removes the shell of the seeds and remains the core. These detailed cores are called Nibs and are ready for processing. Nibs or chopped kernels are sent to the mill, where they are crushed by steel mill stones. Pressure and friction water the shells and produce a glossy product called fluid.
The factory can use this liquid in the production of chocolate or cocoa. To produce cocoa powder, the chocolate fluid is sent into massive hydraulic pressure devices that put 6,000 pounds per square inch. This severe pressure produces cocoa butter, which is drained through filters. They use cocoa butter in chocolate production. Cool this compact mass after the butter, then crushed and sifted and removes cocoa powder. This powder is used in producing milk, chocolate syrup, ice cream, pastry, and other chocolate products.
Chocolate art requires the exact composition of different components in chocolate fluid: milk for producing dairy chocolate, sugar for sweetening chocolate fluid, chocolate butter for better, smoother and softer surface that is obtained from soybean to make chocolate lubrication and easier molding. The composition of the chocolate is eventually crushed and refined by crossing several rollers.
Quenching is a flavoring method that can take a few hours to several days depending on the desired result. In this method, heavy rollers rotate regularly into the machine and cook the chocolate to improve the taste of chocolate and give it a velvety and soft texture. After the quenching, the mixture is disturbed. In this process, chocolate slowly stir and lower its temperature. Finally, the chocolate fluid is ready to fit into the molds or use it to cover the biscuits and nuts. The board or coated chocolate is placed in the cooling cavity and then ready to pack and transfer to the distributors and retailers.
What does cocoa taste?
Cocoa has a rich and bitter taste. The pure cocoa derived directly from the fruit of the cocoa tree has a bitter taste. This bitterness is directly related to the type of cocoa tree as well as its growth conditions. This means that the crops of some cocoa trees have a higher percentage of bitterness and others have a lower percentage. In addition, today, certain racial reform trees have also been produced that have tried to have a very low bitterness.
To make chocolate from cocoa, sauté the seeds, grind and mix with sugar and sometimes milk to create a smooth, creamy product.
Tutorial on how to make cocoa
After picking the cocoa seeds, they are put in certain packages. After about seven days, cocoa seeds completely change the color and the color becomes almost brown. At this time, it is time to roast the seeds. This process of roasting can have a very important impact on cocoa taste.
Infographic of Chocolate Process from Cocoa
After roasting, the seeds should be well grinned to reach the cocoa powder. In the past, instead of using advanced devices to grind cocoa seeds, they were helping simple tools such as mortar. After converting cocoa seeds into cocoa powder and hygiene, they are put in new packaging and their export process begins.
Cocoa is called raw seeds of the cocoa tree, while chocolate is a processed food product made from cocoa and milled mixed with sugar and sometimes milk.
What is the difference between chocolate and cocoa?
In general, chocolate is one by -product of cocoa. In fact, you need to have cocoa powder to make chocolate. The bitterness of the chocolate depends on the bitter amount of cocoa powder as well as its use in chocolate. For example, in all kinds of chocolates, such as milk chocolates that have a very sweet taste, very little cocoa powder is used. However, most of the bitter chocolates are cocoa powder.
What is the difference between coffee and cocoa?
Coffee and cocoa are two different plants and their seeds are used to make two different drinks.
Coffee is made from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant that is native to the tropical regions of Africa. The seeds are grinded and tail to make coffee, a popular drink worldwide for its caffeine.
On the other hand, cocoa is derived from the fermented, dry and roasted seeds of the cocoa tree, native to the Amazon area. The seeds are harvested to make cocoa powder and chocolate. Cocoa is a key substance in many desserts and pastries and is famous for its rich and chocolate taste.
In short, coffee and cocoa come from different plants, are processed differently, and have different flavors and applications.
Cocoa is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids and minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium, which makes it useful for heart health, reduced inflammation and improved overall health.
Familiarity with the benefits of cocoa
Because of the warm nature of cocoa, it can be said that this product is a common choice to increase the body’s immunity from things like colds. Many doctors believe that taking some cocoa daily can reduce depression. However, cocoa helps you get more oxygen to your respiratory system while exercising.
It is interesting to know that cocoa can even improve certain diseases such as diarrhea and constipation. The reason for this is the excellent amount of fiber inside the cocoa powder. The cocoa in cases such as chocolate can also help you lose weight, but this will be the case when the corresponding chocolate does not have a high level of sugar.
Cocoa improves the body’s metabolism and as a result you will be comfortable with gastrointestinal problems. Various studies have examined that the presence of substances called Falavalal can help people prevent very dangerous cancers such as prostate cancer.
Cocoa Milk is a healthy drink that combines the benefits of cocoa with the nutrients in milk (protein, calcium, vitamins) to be a rich and useful drink for the heart.
What are the benefits of cocoa milk?
Cocoa milk contains a variety of vitamins such as vitamin A, Vitamin B and even vitamin D. You can even see very good amounts of potassium inside it. Given this, it can be said that cocoa milk is a great choice for improved growth in adolescents.
What is cocoa? This is the same question that we have tried to talk to your loved ones thoroughly in this text. Given the above, it can be understood that cocoa has a very long history. The use of this product goes back to Mexico.
Today, cocoa powder is used in a variety of cases, including chocolate. In order to make cocoa powder, cocoa tree seeds should be used in certain conditions. A good tree cultivates a delicious cocoa fruit. We hope that by reading this text you have gained a better understanding of cocoa and its overall difference with chocolate.