ION chocolate, a high technology product
Chocolate is one of the very few foods that is adored and appreciated by so many people all over the world. However many people do not know that the production of chocolate has a long and extremely complex production process that requires a number of high technology equipment. From cocoa farms where cocoa trees are cultivated to end product, there are many laborious stages both in the farming and in the production of chocolate.
Our favourite chocolate is the product of a long procedure which begins in the tropical countries where cocoa trees are cultivated. After the harvest cocoa beans are fermented for a number of days and then dried in the sun. Once dried, the beans are packed in burlap sacks and shipped to factories all over the world.
ION chocolate manufacturing process takes a great deal of care, experience and attention through all the production stages. The mechanized nature of the entire chocolate-making process contributes to ION's high standards of quality. The most important characteristic of ION's adherence to perfection is the quality of the first raw material and the thorough selection of the cocoa beans.
ION production takes place in automatic mechanical installations and requires time and painstaking care. Prior to their storage, the beans are carefully cleaned. This is done by passing the cocoa beans through a cleaning machine and it is the first step to actual manufacturing. While awaiting the blending process, the beans are carefully stored in silos; isolated from the rest of the building so the sensitive cocoa does not come into contact with odours. Every step of the procedure reflects the close regulation of conditions, which is needed to ensure the production of high quality chocolate.
When thoroughly cleaned, the beans are roasted; then cooled, and their thin shells are removed carefully. Proper roasting is one of the keys to good flavour and the most important factor that brings out the characteristic chocolate aroma.
Then they are fragmented according to particular specifications. The nibs are conveyed to mills, where they are crushed between heavy steel discs. The process generates enough frictional heat to liquefy the cocoa butter and form what is commercially know as chocolate liquor. The liquor is forwarded mechanically to large blenders, where other ingredients are added: sugar, milk and cocoa butter.
Whatever ingredients are used, the mixture then travels through a series of heavy rollers set one atop the other. Under the grinding that takes place here, the mixture is refined to a smooth paste ready for "conching."
Conching is a flavour development process and it takes place in machines that are called "conches". These machines are equipped with heavy rollers that plow back and forth through the chocolate mass. After the emulsifying or conching machines, the chocolate mixture goes through a tempering interval-heating, cooling and reheating-and then at last into molds to be formed into the shape of the complete product.
It is important to note that in a synchronous chocolate industry like ION all the procedures are done mechanically, without the intervention of human hands, thus ensuring that ION chocolate products reach the consumer in full quality, freshness and taste.