Real Chocolate in a powder format
Chocolate is a well-loved and important ingredient in numerous food products globally from beverages through to baked products. Yet real chocolate powder has not always been available in large enough quantities for commercial use due to the difficulty in controlling the crystal structure of the finished product.
The crystal structure within chocolate is very important and affects not only the way chocolate looks and tastes but also its melting point. Cocoa butter which is an integral part of chocolate and differentiates it from Cocoa powder exists in six states, known as ‘polymorphs’. These polymorphs and the crystalline structure are ultimately what chocolate producers are effecting when they temper chocolate.
Poor control of the chocolate results in unstable crystal mixtures with a tendency to exhibit ‘chocolate bloom’, which is formed by the transition of the lower polymorphs to the stable form “V” and in some cases the formation of “off taints” that accompany this uncontrolled transition.
With the intention of producing a stable chocolate powder, Knighton Foods with its years of experience working with chocolate began to research and develop a way to achieve an end product that can claim to be Real Chocolate powder.
To achieve this, Knighton Foods employs a Spray Crystallisation process which involves rapidly cooling a finely atomised molten chocolate mist by direct contact with the cryogenic medium.
The powder produced at this stage has a thin outer crystal shell, which is predominantly form “IV”, and this encloses a very unstable low melting point fraction with a mixture of forms, I, II and III. After storage under ambient conditions the chocolate reverts, almost exclusively, to the preferred stable form “V”.
Further storage under ambient conditions have shown further physical changes, larger and wider crystal formations, with a slight increase in the Form V proportions.
Reading Scientific Services were originally selected to carry out this research in 1997 for their experience and understanding of the crystallisation of cocoa butter. 2017 saw Knighton Foods work with Camden BRI and Premier Analytical Service to undertake the research again, this confirmed the initial findings. The use of a Cryo-Scanning Electron Microscopy and Differential Scanning Calorimetry enabled evaluation of the product directly after production and then after an initial week, and four week period.
Knighton Foods now produces a range of high quality products including, Real Plain Chocolate Powder, Real Milk Chocolate Powder and Real White Chocolate Powder alongside other cocoa derivatives. These products are now produced directly from heated tankers which further improves quality by removing an additional melting stage and allowing commercial quantities to be produced at a commercially viable price point.
Application research has shown that Knighton Foods Real Chocolate Powders offer a number of unique properties including:
- Fast melting properties allowing it to be added directly to hot liquid mixes prior to homogenisation and pasteurisation, e.g. sauce mixes, ice cream production, chilled & UHT drinks.
- The removal of the need for melting tanks where substantial product loss can occur and, in turn reduced labour costs within production where a pre-melting process may have historically been required.
- Powder can be used as a “seeding” additive in the tempering stage of chocolate production reducing processing time.
- The ability to produce a stable chocolate powder from virtually any source of chocolate.
There are a host of applications that lend themselves towards the use of Knighton Foods real Chocolate Powder including:
- Bakery mixes, Cakes and Patisserie
- Beverages, including luxury chocolate drinks, cappuccino and vending applications
- Chilled UHT drinks, Milkshakes
- Ice Cream and Yoghurts
- Sauces for Quick Service Restaurants
- Dry mixes
- Cereal products
- Desserts i.e. custards, mousses, toppings for desserts
- Food service and catering
Bespoke products are also available as our process can convert any source of chocolate including specific provenance chocolates:
- Kosher and Halal equivalents can also be supplied
For more detail and information please contact us, or visit the ingredients section of our website: www.knightonfoods.com