Chocolate (from náhuatl: xocolātl ) (/ˈtʃɒklɪt, -kəlɪt, -lət,
ˈtʃɔːk-/ ( listen)) is a typically sweet, usually brown
food preparation of
Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground. It is
made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a
flavoring ingredient in other foods. Cacao has been cultivated by many
cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica. The earliest
evidence of use traces to the Olmecs (Mexico), with evidence of
chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BCE. The majority of
Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and
The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be
fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are
dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao
nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, unadulterated chocolate in
rough form. Once the cocoa mass is liquefied by heating, it is called
chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be cooled and processed into its
two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Baking chocolate, also
called bitter chocolate, contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter in
varying proportions, without any added sugars. Much of the chocolate
consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of
cocoa solids, cocoa butter or added vegetable oils, and sugar. Milk
chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or
White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and
milk, but no cocoa solids.
Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as
theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine.
Chocolate also contains
Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in
the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have
been created, particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse,
chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are
filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid
chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks.
Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes (e.g., eggs, hearts,
coins) have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as
Easter, Valentine's Day, and Hanukkah.
Chocolate is also used in cold
and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some
alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao.
Although cocoa originated in the Americas, recent years have seen
African nations assuming a leading role in producing cocoa. Since the
2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world's cocoa,
Ivory Coast growing almost half of that amount.
2.2 European adaptation
4.2 Cacao varieties
5 Nutrition and research
5.2 Effects on health
7.2 Human trafficking of child labourers
7.3 Fair trade
8 Usage and consumption
9 Popular culture
9.1 Religious and cultural links
9.2 Books and film
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
Maya glyph for cacao
The word "chocolate" entered the English language from Spanish in
about 1600. The word entered Spanish from the word chocolātl in
Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs. The origin of the
Nahuatl word is
uncertain, as it does not appear in any early
Nahuatl source, where
the word for chocolate drink is cacahuatl, "cacao water". It is
possible that the Spaniards coined the word (perhaps in order to avoid
caca, a vulgar Spanish word for "faeces") by combining the Yucatec
Mayan word chocol, "hot", with the
Nahuatl word atl, "water".
Another proposed etymology derives it from the word chicolatl, meaning
"beaten drink", which may derive from the word for the frothing stick,
chicoli. The term "chocolatier", for a chocolate confection maker,
is attested from 1888.
See also: History of chocolate
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of
Chocolate has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history.
For example, one vessel found at an
Olmec archaeological site on the
Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate's preparation by
Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BCE. On the Pacific coast of
Chiapas, Mexico, a
Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of
cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BCE. The residues
and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial
use of cacao was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around
the cacao beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for
an alcoholic drink.
Aztec. Man Carrying a Cacao Pod, 1440–1521. Volcanic stone, traces
of red pigment. Brooklyn Museum
An early Classic-period (460–480 AD) Mayan tomb from the site in Rio
Azul had vessels with the Maya glyph for cacao on them with residue of
a chocolate drink, suggests the Maya were drinking chocolate around
400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was
used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The
Maya grew cacao trees in their backyards, and used the cacao seeds
the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink.
By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of
Mesoamerica and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated
chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast
away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, and
identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human
heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their
chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad
variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum
penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey.
The Aztecs were not able to grow cacao themselves, as their home in
the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury
imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the
Aztecs were required to offer cacao seeds in payment of the tax they
deemed "tribute". Cocoa beans were often used as currency. For
example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 cacao
beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans.
The Maya and Aztecs associated cacao with human sacrifice, and
chocolate drinks specifically with sacrificial human blood.
One of the first Spanish accounts of chocolate is by the royal
chronicler Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, describing chocolate drink he
had seen in
Nicaragua in 1528, mixed with achiote (Bixa orellana):
"because those people are fond of drinking human blood, to make this
beverage seem like blood, they add a little achiote, so that it then
turns red. ... and part of that foam is left on the lips and around
the mouth, and when it is red for having achiote, it seems a horrific
thing, because it seems like blood itself."
History of chocolate
History of chocolate in Spain
Chocolate soon became a fashionable drink of the European nobility
after the discovery of the Americas. The morning chocolate by Pietro
Longhi; Venice, 1775–1780
Until the 16th century, no European had ever heard of the popular
drink from the Central American peoples.
Christopher Columbus and
his son Ferdinand encountered the cacao bean on Columbus's fourth
mission to the Americas on 15 August 1502, when he and his crew seized
a large native canoe that proved to contain cacao beans among other
goods for trade. Spanish conquistador
Hernán Cortés may have
been the first European to encounter it, as the frothy drink was part
of the after-dinner routine of Montezuma. Jose de Acosta, a
Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the
later 16th century, wrote of its growing influence on the Spaniards:
Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or
froth that is very unpleasant taste. Yet it is a drink very much
esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass
through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women that are
accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate. They say
they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some
temperate, and put therein much of that "chili"; yea, they make paste
thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the
"Traités nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate", by
Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685
While Columbus had taken cacao beans with him back to Spain,
chocolate made no impact until Spanish friars introduced it to the
Spanish court. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, chocolate
was imported to Europe. There, it quickly became a court favorite. It
was still served as a beverage, but the Spanish added sugar, as well
as honey, to counteract the natural bitterness.
Vanilla was also a
popular additive, with pepper and other spices sometimes used to give
the illusion of a more potent vanilla flavor. Unfortunately, these
spices had the tendency to unsettle the European constitution; the
Encyclopédie states, "The pleasant scent and sublime taste it imparts
to chocolate have made it highly recommended; but a long experience
having shown that it could potentially upset one's stomach," which is
why chocolate without vanilla was sometimes referred to as "healthy
chocolate." By 1602, chocolate had made its way from Spain to
Austria. By 1662,
Pope Alexander VII
Pope Alexander VII had declared that religious
fasts were not broken by consuming chocolate drinks. Within about a
hundred years, chocolate established a foothold throughout Europe.
Silver chocolate pot with hinged finial to insert a molinet or swizzle
stick, London 1714–15 (Victoria and Albert Museum)
The new craze for chocolate brought with it a thriving slave market,
as between the early 1600s and late 1800s, the laborious and slow
processing of the cacao bean was manual. Cacao plantations spread,
as the English, Dutch, and French colonized and planted. With the
Mesoamerican workers, largely to disease, cacao
production was often the work of poor wage laborers and African
slaves. Wind-powered and horse-drawn mills were used to speed
production, augmenting human labor. Heating the working areas of the
table-mill, an innovation that emerged in France in 1732, also
assisted in extraction.
Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten invented "Dutch cocoa" by
treating cocoa mass with alkaline salts to reduce the natural
bitterness without adding sugar or milk to get usable cocoa powder.
New processes that sped the production of chocolate emerged early in
the Industrial Revolution. In 1815, Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten
introduced alkaline salts to chocolate, which reduced its
bitterness. A few years thereafter, in 1828, he created a press to
remove about half the natural fat (cocoa butter or cacao butter) from
chocolate liquor, which made chocolate both cheaper to produce and
more consistent in quality. This innovation introduced the modern era
Fry's produced the first chocolate bar in 1847, which was then
Fry's Chocolate Cream
Fry's Chocolate Cream in 1866.
Known as "Dutch cocoa", this machine-pressed chocolate was
instrumental in the transformation of chocolate to its solid form
when, in 1847, English chocolatier Joseph Fry discovered a way to make
chocolate moldable when he mixed the ingredients of cocoa powder and
sugar with melted cocoa butter. Subsequently, his chocolate
factory, Fry's of Bristol, England, began mass-producing chocolate
Chocolate Cream, launched in 1866, and they became very
popular. Milk had sometimes been used as an addition to chocolate
beverages since the mid-17th century, but in 1875 Swiss chocolatier
Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk
Henri Nestlé with the liquor. In 1879, the
texture and taste of chocolate was further improved when Rudolphe
Lindt invented the conching machine.
Besides Nestlé, a number of notable chocolate companies had their
start in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Rowntree's of York
set up and began producing chocolate in 1862, after buying out the
Tuke family business.
Cadbury was manufacturing boxed chocolates in
England by 1868. In 1893,
Milton S. Hershey
Milton S. Hershey purchased chocolate
processing equipment at the
World's Columbian Exposition
World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago,
and soon began the career of Hershey's chocolates with
Main article: Types of chocolate
Chocolate is commonly used as a coating for various fruits such as
cherries and/or fillings, such as liqueurs
Several types of chocolate can be distinguished. Pure, unsweetened
chocolate, often called "baking chocolate", contains primarily cocoa
solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate
consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, which combines
chocolate with sugar.
Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that also contains milk powder or
condensed milk. In the UK and Ireland, milk chocolate must contain a
minimum of 20% total dry cocoa solids; in the rest of the European
Union, the minimum is 25%. "White chocolate" contains cocoa
butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids.
alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have
physiological effects in humans, but the presence of theobromine
renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats. Chocolate
contains "brain cannabinoids" such as anandamide, N-oleoylethanolamine
Dark chocolate has been promoted for
unproven health benefits.
White chocolate, although similar in texture to that of milk and dark
chocolate, does not contain any cocoa solids. Because of this, many
countries do not consider white chocolate as chocolate at all.
Because it does not contain any cocoa solids, white chocolate does not
contain any theobromine, so it can be consumed by animals.
Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls this "sweet
chocolate", and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor.
European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. Semisweet
chocolate is a dark chocolate with a low sugar content. Bittersweet
chocolate is chocolate liquor to which some sugar (typically a third),
more cocoa butter, vanilla, and sometimes lecithin have been added. It
has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two
are interchangeable in baking.
Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter
or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground,
roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor. It is
typically used in baking or other products to which sugar and other
ingredients are added. Raw chocolate, often referred to as raw cacao,
is always dark and a minimum of 75% cacao.
Poorly tempered chocolate may have whitish spots on the dark chocolate
part, called chocolate bloom; it is an indication that sugar and/or
fat has separated due to poor storage. It is not toxic and can be
Children in cocoa production
Children in cocoa production and Cocoa production in Ivory
Chocolate is created from the cocoa bean. A cacao tree with fruit pods
in various stages of ripening
Roughly two-thirds of the entire world's cocoa is produced in West
Africa, with 43% sourced from Ivory Coast,As of 2007[update] where
child labor is a common practice to obtain the product.
According to the World Cocoa Foundation, in 2007 some 50 million
people around the world depended on cocoa as a source of
livelihood. >As of 2007[update] in the UK, most chocolatiers
purchase their chocolate from them, to melt, mold and package to their
own design. According to the WCF's 2012 report, the
Ivory Coast is
the largest producer of cocoa in the world. The two main jobs
associated with creating chocolate candy are chocolate makers and
Chocolate makers use harvested cacao beans and other
ingredients to produce couverture chocolate (covering). Chocolatiers
use the finished couverture to make chocolate candies (bars, truffles,
Production costs can be decreased by reducing cocoa solids content or
by substituting cocoa butter with another fat. Cocoa growers object to
allowing the resulting food to be called "chocolate", due to the risk
of lower demand for their crops.
The sequencing in 2010 of the genome of the cacao tree may allow
yields to be improved. Due to concerns about global warming
effects on lowland climate in the narrow band of latitudes where cacao
is grown (20 degrees north and south of the equator), the commercial
Mars, Incorporated and the University of California, Berkeley
are conducting genomic research in 2017-18 to improve the
survivability of cacao plants in hot climates.
Toasted cacao beans at a chocolate workshop at the La Chonita Hacienda
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, the dried and fermented seeds of
the cacao tree (
Theobroma cacao), a small, 4–8 m tall
(15–26 ft tall) evergreen tree native to the deep tropical
region of the Americas. Recent genetic studies suggest the most common
genotype of the plant originated in the
Amazon basin and was gradually
transported by humans throughout South and Central America. Early
forms of another genotype have also been found in what is now
Venezuela. The scientific name, Theobroma, means "food of the
gods". The fruit, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, 15–30 cm
(6–12 in) long and 8–10 cm (3–4 in) wide,
ripening yellow to orange, and weighing about 500 g (1.1 lb)
Cacao trees are small, understory trees that need rich, well-drained
soils. They naturally grow within 20° of either side of the equator
because they need about 2000 mm of rainfall a year, and
temperatures in the range of 21 to 32 °C (70 to 90 °F).
Cacao trees cannot tolerate a temperature lower than 15 °C
The three main varieties of cacao beans used in chocolate are criollo,
forastero, and trinitario.
Representing only 5% of all cocoa beans grown As of 2008[update],
criollo is the rarest and most expensive cocoa on the market, and is
native to Central America, the
Caribbean islands and the northern tier
of South American states. The genetic purity of cocoas sold today
as criollo is disputed, as most populations have been exposed to the
genetic influence of other varieties.
Criollos are particularly difficult to grow, as they are vulnerable to
a variety of environmental threats and produce low yields of cocoa per
tree. The flavor of criollo is described as delicate yet complex, low
in classic chocolate flavor, but rich in "secondary" notes of long
The most commonly grown bean is forastero, a large group of wild
and cultivated cacaos, most likely native to the Amazon basin. The
African cocoa crop is entirely of the forastero variety. They are
significantly hardier and of higher yield than criollo. The source of
most chocolate marketed, forastero cocoas are typically strong in
classic "chocolate" flavor, but have a short duration and are
unsupported by secondary flavors, producing "quite bland"
Trinitario is a natural hybrid of criollo and forastero. Trinitario
Trinidad after an introduction of forastero to the local
criollo crop. Nearly all cacao produced over the past five decades is
of the forastero or lower-grade trinitario varieties.
Video of cacao beans being ground and mixed with other ingredients to
make chocolate at a
Mayordomo store in Oaxaca
"dancing the cocoa", El Cidros, Trinidad, c. 1957
Cacao pods are harvested by cutting them from the tree using a
machete, or by knocking them off the tree using a stick. The beans
with their surrounding pulp are removed from the pods and placed in
piles or bins, allowing access to micro-organisms so fermentation of
the pectin-containing material can begin. Yeasts produce ethanol,
lactic acid bacteria produce lactic acid, and acetic acid bacteria
produce acetic acid. The fermentation process, which takes up to seven
days, also produces several flavor precursors, eventually resulting in
the familiar chocolate taste.
It is important to harvest the pods when they are fully ripe, because
if the pod is unripe, the beans will have a low cocoa butter content,
or sugars in the white pulp will be insufficient for fermentation,
resulting in a weak flavor. After fermentation, the beans must be
quickly dried to prevent mold growth. Climate and weather permitting,
this is done by spreading the beans out in the sun from five to seven
The dried beans are then transported to a chocolate manufacturing
facility. The beans are cleaned (removing twigs, stones, and other
debris), roasted, and graded. Next, the shell of each bean is removed
to extract the nib. Finally, the nibs are ground and liquefied,
resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor. The
liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and
Main article: Types of chocolate
Chocolate liquor is blended with the cocoa butter in varying
quantities to make different types of chocolate or couvertures. The
basic blends of ingredients for the various types of chocolate (in
order of highest quantity of cocoa liquor first), are:
Fountain chocolate is made with high levels of cocoa butter, allowing
it to flow gently over a chocolate fountain to serve as dessert
Dark chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, and (sometimes)
Milk chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk or milk
powder, and vanilla
White chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, milk or milk powder, and vanilla
Usually, an emulsifying agent, such as soy lecithin, is added, though
a few manufacturers prefer to exclude this ingredient for purity
reasons and to remain GMO-free, sometimes at the cost of a perfectly
smooth texture. Some manufacturers are now using PGPR, an artificial
emulsifier derived from castor oil that allows them to reduce the
amount of cocoa butter while maintaining the same mouthfeel.
The texture is also heavily influenced by processing, specifically
conching (see below). The more expensive chocolate tends to be
processed longer and thus have a smoother texture and mouthfeel,
regardless of whether emulsifying agents are added.
Different manufacturers develop their own "signature" blends based on
the above formulas, but varying proportions of the different
constituents are used. The finest, plain dark chocolate couvertures
contain at least 70% cocoa (both solids and butter), whereas milk
chocolate usually contains up to 50%. High-quality white chocolate
couvertures contain only about 35% cocoa butter.
Producers of high-quality, small-batch chocolate argue that mass
production produces bad-quality chocolate. Some mass-produced
chocolate contains much less cocoa (as low as 7% in many cases), and
fats other than cocoa butter. Vegetable oils and artificial vanilla
flavor are often used in cheaper chocolate to mask poorly fermented
and/or roasted beans.
In 2007, the
Chocolate Manufacturers Association in the United States,
whose members include Hershey, Nestlé, and Archer Daniels Midland,
Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to change the legal
definition of chocolate to let them substitute partially hydrogenated
vegetable oils for cocoa butter, in addition to using artificial
sweeteners and milk substitutes. Currently, the FDA does not allow
a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any
of these ingredients.
In the EU a product can be sold as chocolate if it contains up to 5%
vegetable oil, and must be labelled as "family milk chocolate" rather
than "milk chocolate" if it contains 20% milk.
According to Canadian Food and Drug Regulations, a "chocolate
product" is a food product that is sourced from at least one "cocoa
product" and contains at least one of the following: "chocolate,
bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, sweet
chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate." A "cocoa product" is
defined as a food product that is sourced from cocoa beans and
contains "cocoa nibs, cocoa liquor, cocoa mass, unsweetened chocolate,
bitter chocolate, chocolate liquor, cocoa, low-fat cocoa, cocoa
powder, or low-fat cocoa powder."
Main article: Conching
Chocolate melanger mixing raw ingredients
The penultimate process is called conching. A conche is a container
filled with metal beads, which act as grinders. The refined and
blended chocolate mass is kept in a liquid state by frictional heat.
Chocolate prior to conching has an uneven and gritty texture. The
conching process produces cocoa and sugar particles smaller than the
tongue can detect, hence the smooth feel in the mouth. The length of
the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of
the chocolate. High-quality chocolate is conched for about
72 hours, and lesser grades about four to six hours. After the
process is complete, the chocolate mass is stored in tanks heated to
about 45 to 50 °C (113 to 122 °F) until final
The final process is called tempering. Uncontrolled crystallization of
cocoa butter typically results in crystals of varying size, some or
all large enough to be clearly seen with the naked eye. This causes
the surface of the chocolate to appear mottled and matte, and causes
the chocolate to crumble rather than snap when broken. The
uniform sheen and crisp bite of properly processed chocolate are the
result of consistently small cocoa butter crystals produced by the
The fats in cocoa butter can crystallize in six different forms
(polymorphous crystallization). The primary purpose of
tempering is to assure that only the best form is present. The six
different crystal forms have different properties.
17 °C (63 °F)
Soft, crumbly, melts too easily
21 °C (70 °F)
Soft, crumbly, melts too easily
26 °C (79 °F)
Firm, poor snap, melts too easily
28 °C (82 °F)
Firm, good snap, melts too easily
34 °C (93 °F)
Glossy, firm, best snap, melts near body temperature (37 °C)
36 °C (97 °F)
Hard, takes weeks to form
Molten chocolate and a piece of a chocolate bar
As a solid piece of chocolate, the cocoa butter fat particles are in a
crystalline rigid structure that gives the chocolate its solid
appearance. Once heated, the crystals of the polymorphic cocoa butter
are able to break apart from the rigid structure and allow the
chocolate to obtain a more fluid consistency as the temperature
increases – the melting process. When the heat is removed, the cocoa
butter crystals become rigid again and come closer together, allowing
the chocolate to solidify.
The temperature in which the crystals obtain enough energy to break
apart from their rigid conformation would depend on the milk fat
content in the chocolate and the shape of the fat molecules, as well
as the form of the cocoa butter fat.
Chocolate with a higher fat
content will melt at a lower temperature.
Making chocolate considered "good" is about forming as many type V
crystals as possible. This provides the best appearance and texture
and creates the most stable crystals, so the texture and appearance
will not degrade over time. To accomplish this, the temperature is
carefully manipulated during the crystallization.
Various chocolate types
Generally, the chocolate is first heated to 45 °C (113 °F)
to melt all six forms of crystals. Next, the chocolate is
cooled to about 27 °C (81 °F), which will allow crystal
types IV and V to form. At this temperature, the chocolate is agitated
to create many small crystal "seeds" which will serve as nuclei to
create small crystals in the chocolate. The chocolate is then heated
to about 31 °C (88 °F) to eliminate any type IV crystals,
leaving just type V. After this point, any excessive heating of the
chocolate will destroy the temper and this process will have to be
repeated. However, other methods of chocolate tempering are used. The
most common variant is introducing already tempered, solid "seed"
chocolate. The temper of chocolate can be measured with a chocolate
temper meter to ensure accuracy and consistency. A sample cup is
filled with the chocolate and placed in the unit which then displays
or prints the results.
Two classic ways of manually tempering chocolate are:
Working the molten chocolate on a heat-absorbing surface, such as a
stone slab, until thickening indicates the presence of sufficient
crystal "seeds"; the chocolate is then gently warmed to working
Stirring solid chocolate into molten chocolate to "inoculate" the
liquid chocolate with crystals (this method uses the already formed
crystals of the solid chocolate to "seed" the molten chocolate).
Chocolate tempering machines (or temperers) with computer controls can
be used for producing consistently tempered chocolate. In particular
continuous tempering machines are used in large volume applications.
Various methods and apparatuses for continuous flow tempering have
been described by Aasted, Sollich and Buhler, three manufacturers of
commercial chocolate equipment, with a focus now on energy efficiency.
In general, molten chocolate coming in at 40–50 °C is cooled
in heat exchangers to crystallization temperates of about
26–30 °C, passed through a tempering column consisting of
spinning plates to induce shear, then warmed slightly to re-melt
undesirable crystal formations.
Packaged chocolate in the
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company is stored in
Chocolate is very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Ideal storage
temperatures are between 15 and 17 °C (59 and 63 °F), with
a relative humidity of less than 50%. If refrigerated or frozen
without containment, chocolate can absorb enough moisture to cause a
whitish discoloration, the result of fat or sugar crystals rising to
the surface. Various types of "blooming" effects can occur if
chocolate is stored or served improperly.
Chocolate bloom is caused by storage temperature fluctuating or
exceeding 24 °C (75 °F), while sugar bloom is caused by
temperature below 15 °C (59 °F) or excess humidity. To
distinguish between different types of bloom, one can rub the surface
of the chocolate lightly, and if the bloom disappears, it is fat
bloom. Moving chocolate between temperature extremes, can result in an
oily texture. Although visually unappealing, chocolate suffering from
bloom is safe for consumption. Bloom can be reversed by
retempering the chocolate or using it for any use that requires
melting the chocolate.
Chocolate is generally stored away from other foods, as it can absorb
different aromas. Ideally, chocolates are packed or wrapped, and
placed in proper storage with the correct humidity and temperature.
Additionally, chocolate is frequently stored in a dark place or
protected from light by wrapping paper.
Nutrition and research
Candies, milk chocolate
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
2,240 kJ (540 kcal)
Full Link to USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
A 100 gram serving of milk chocolate supplies 540 calories. It is 59%
carbohydrates (52% as sugar and 3% as dietary fiber), 30% fat and 8%
protein (table). Approximately 65% of the fat in milk chocolate is
saturated, composed mainly of palmitic acid and stearic acid, while
the predominant unsaturated fat is oleic acid (table, see USDA
reference for full report).
In 100 gram amounts, milk chocolate is an excellent source (> 19%
of the Daily Value, DV) of riboflavin, vitamin B12 and the dietary
minerals, manganese, phosphorus and zinc (table).
Chocolate is a good
source (10–19% DV) of calcium, magnesium and iron (table).
Effects on health
Health effects of chocolate
Health effects of chocolate and
Chocolate may be a factor for heartburn in some people because one of
its constituents, theobromine, may affect the oesophageal sphincter
muscle, hence permitting stomach acidic contents to enter into the
Theobromine is also toxic to some animals unable to
metabolize it (see theobromine poisoning).
Excessive consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food,
such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity to
expend the associated calories, can increase the risk of weight gain
and possibly obesity.
Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter, a fat
which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying
proportions during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers may add
other fats, sugars, and milk as well, all of which increase the
caloric content of chocolate.
Chocolate and cocoa contain moderate to high amounts of
oxalate, which may increase risk for kidney stones. During
cultivation and production, chocolate may absorb lead from the
environment, but the total amounts typically eaten are less than
the tolerable daily limit for lead consumption, according to a World
Health Organization report from 2010. However, reports from 2014
indicate that "chocolate might be a significant source" of lead
ingestion for children if consumption is high and "one 10 g
cube of dark chocolate may contain as much as 20% of the daily lead
A few studies have documented allergic reactions from chocolate in
Chocolate and cocoa are under preliminary research to determine if
consumption affects the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases or
Some manufacturers provide the percentage of chocolate in a finished
chocolate confection as a label quoting percentage of "cocoa" or
"cacao". It should be noted that this refers to the combined
percentage of both cocoa solids and cocoa butter in the bar, not just
the percentage of cocoa solids. The Belgian
mark indicates that no non-cocoa vegetable fats have been used in
making the chocolate.
Chocolates that are organic or fair trade certified carry
In the United States, some large chocolate manufacturers lobbied the
federal government to permit confections containing cheaper
hydrogenated vegetable oil in place of cocoa butter to be sold as
"chocolate". In June 2007, as a response to consumer concern after the
proposed change, the FDA reiterated "Cacao fat, as one of the
signature characteristics of the product, will remain a principal
component of standardized chocolate."
The chocolate industry is a steadily growing, $50 billion-a-year
worldwide business centered on the sale and consumption of chocolate.
It is prevalent throughout most of the world. Europe accounts for
45% of the world's chocolate revenue and the
Big Chocolate is the grouping of major
international chocolate companies in Europe and the U.S. The U.S.
companies, such as Mars and Hershey's alone, generate $13 billion
a year in chocolate sales and account for two-thirds of U.S.
production. Despite the expanding reach of the chocolate industry
internationally, cocoa farmers and labourers in the
Ivory Coast are
unaware of the uses of the beans. The high cost of chocolate in the
Ivory Coast also means that it is inaccessible to the majority of the
population, who are unaware of what it tastes like.
Main article: List of bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers
Chocolate with various fillings
Chocolate manufacturers produce a range of products from chocolate
bars to fudge. Large manufacturers of chocolate products include
Cadbury (the world's largest confectionery manufacturer), Ferrero,
Guylian, The Hershey Company, Lindt & Sprüngli, Mars,
Incorporated, Milka, Neuhaus and Suchard.
Guylian is best known for its chocolate sea shells;
Cadbury for its
Dairy Milk and Creme Egg. The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate
manufacturer in North America, produces the
Hershey Bar and Hershey's
Kisses. Mars Incorporated, a large privately owned U.S.
corporation, produces Mars Bar, Milky Way, M&M's, Twix, and
Snickers. Lindt is known for its truffle balls and gold foil-wrapped
Nestlé SA and
Kraft Foods both have chocolate
Rowntree's in 1988 and now markets chocolates
under their own brand, including
Smarties (a chocolate candy) and Kit
Kat (a candy bar);
Kraft Foods through its 1990 acquisition of Jacobs
Suchard, now owns
Milka and Suchard. In February 2010, Kraft also
acquired British-based Cadbury.; Fry's, Trebor Basset and the fair
trade brand Green & Black's also belongs to the group.
Human trafficking of child labourers
Main article: Children in cocoa production
The widespread use of children in cocoa production is controversial,
not only for the concerns about child labor and exploitation, but also
because up to 12,000 of the 200,000 children working in Côte
d'Ivoire, the world's biggest producer of cocoa, may be victims of
trafficking or slavery. Most attention on this subject has focused
on West Africa, which collectively supplies 69 percent of the world's
Côte d'Ivoire in particular, which supplies 35
percent of the world's cocoa. Thirty percent of children under
age 15 in sub-Saharan Africa are child laborers, mostly in
agricultural activities including cocoa farming. It is estimated
that more than 1.8 million children in
West Africa are involved in
growing cocoa. Major chocolate producers, such as Nestlé, buy
cocoa at commodities exchanges where Ivorian cocoa is mixed with other
In 2009, Salvation Army International Development (SAID) UK stated
that 12,000 children have been trafficked on cocoa farms in the Ivory
Coast of Africa, where half of the world's chocolate is made.
SAID UK states that it is these child slaves who are likely to be
working in "harsh and abusive" conditions for the production of
chocolate, and an increasing number of health-food and
anti-slavery organisations are now highlighting and campaigning
against the use of trafficking in the chocolate industry.
See also: Cocoa production in Ivory Coast
Main article: Fair trade
In the 2000s, some chocolate producers began to engage in fair trade
initiatives, to address concerns about the marginalization of cocoa
laborers in developing countries. Traditionally, Africa and other
developing countries received low prices for their exported
commodities such as cocoa, which caused poverty to abound. Fair trade
seeks to establish a system of direct trade from developing countries
to counteract this unfair system. One solution for fair labor
practices is for farmers to become part of an Agricultural
cooperative. Cooperatives pay farmers a fair price for their cocoa so
farmers have enough money for food, clothes, and school fees. One
of the main tenets of fair trade is that farmers receive a fair price,
but this does not mean that the larger amount of money paid for fair
trade cocoa goes directly to the farmers. The effectiveness of fair
trade has been questioned. In a 2014 article,
The Economist stated
that workers on fair trade farms have a lower standard of living than
on similar farms outside the fair trade system.
Usage and consumption
A chocolate cake with chocolate frosting
Chocolate is sold in chocolate bars, which come in dark chocolate,
milk chocolate and white chocolate varieties. Some bars that are
mostly chocolate have other ingredients blended into the chocolate,
such as nuts, raisins or crisped rice.
Chocolate is used as an
ingredient in a huge variety of candy bars, which typically contain
various confectionary ingredients (e.g., nougat, wafers, caramel,
nuts, etc.) which are coated in chocolate.
Chocolate is used as a
flavouring product in many desserts, such as chocolate cakes,
chocolate brownies, chocolate mousse and chocolate chip cookies.
Numerous types of candy and snacks contain chocolate, either as a
filling (e.g., M&M's) or as a coating (e.g., chocolate-coated
raisins or chocolate-coated peanuts). Some non-alcoholic beverages
contain chocolate, such as chocolate milk, hot chocolate and chocolate
milkshakes. Some alcoholic liqueurs are flavoured with chocolate, such
as chocolate liqueur and creme de cacao.
Chocolate is a popular
flavour of ice cream and pudding, and chocolate sauce is a commonly
added as a topping on ice cream sundaes.
Religious and cultural links
Easter eggs and rabbits
Chocolate is associated with festivals such as Easter, when moulded
chocolate rabbits and eggs are traditionally given in Christian
communities, and Hanukkah, when chocolate coins are given in Jewish
Chocolate hearts and chocolate in heart-shaped boxes are
Valentine's Day and are often presented along with flowers
and a greeting card. In 1868,
Cadbury created Fancy Boxes – a
decorated box of chocolates – in the shape of a heart for
Valentine's Day. Boxes of filled chocolates quickly became
associated with the holiday.
Chocolate is an acceptable gift on
other holidays and on occasions such as birthdays.
Many confectioners make holiday-specific chocolate candies. Chocolate
Easter eggs or rabbits and
Santa Claus figures are two examples. Such
confections can be solid, hollow, or filled with sweets or fondant.
Books and film
Chocolate has been the center of several successful book and film
adaptations. In 1964,
Roald Dahl published a children's novel titled
Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory. The novel centers on a poor boy
named Charlie Bucket who takes a tour through the greatest chocolate
factory in the world, owned by Willy Wonka. Two film adaptations of
the novel were produced. The first was
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate
Factory, a 1971 film which later became a cult classic, and spawned
the real world
Candy Company, which produces chocolate
products to this day. Thirty-four years later, a second film
adaptation was produced, titled Charlie and the
Chocolate Factory. The
2005 film was very well received by critics and was one of the
highest-grossing films that year, earning over US$470,000,000
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also recognized
at the 78th Academy Awards, where it was nominated for Best Costume
Design for Gabriella Pesucci.
Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate (Como agua para chocolate), a 1989 love story
by novelist Laura Esquivel, was adapted to film in 1992. The plot
incorporates magical realism with Mexican cuisine, and the title is a
double entendre in its native language, referring both to a recipe for
hot chocolate and to an idiom that is a metaphor for sexual arousal.
The film earned 11 Ariel Awards from the Academia Mexicana de Artes y
Ciencias Cinematográficas, including Best Picture.
Chocolat, a 1999 novel by Joanne Harris, tells the story of Vianne
Rocher, a young mother, whose confections change the lives of the
townspeople. The 2000 film adaptation, Chocolat, also proved
successful, grossing over US$150,000,000 worldwide, and receiving
Academy Award and
Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best
Actress, and Best Original Score.
Main article: Outline of chocolate
Children in cocoa production
Cuestión moral: si el chocolate quebranta el ayuno eclesiástico
List of chocolate-covered foods
List of chocolate beverages
The chocolate game
United States military chocolate
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Look up chocolate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Chocolate". Encyclopædia
Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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