Life & Culture

From Beans To Bar: How Chocolate Is Made

Feb 13, 2020 ByLaura Lee

You know it, you love it, and chances are you have no idea how it’s made. Now for those of you who are completely content with being left in the dark nibbling on your bar of chocolate then go right ahead and skip reading this post. Otherwise, stick around as we dive into how exactly the world’s favorite sweet is made. Cocoa powder and cocoa butter- no matter its form, the world uses a lot of it. In most factories, the bean comes from West Africa which grows 70% of the world’s crop. A conveyer belt moves the beans through a cleaning system sifting out twigs, rocks and other debris.

Next, the beans go into a revolving drum that heats the cocoa beans to loosen their shells. Then they enter a shell removing machine so all that’s left is the nib of the cocoa bean. Factories roast the nib to develop their flavor. A little more than 50% of the nib is fat which is cocoa butter. To make chocolate, workers will combine processed nibs, cocoa butter, sugar, and if making milk chocolate, also milk powder. First, they’ll process the nibs by grinding them. The heat and friction produce pure liquid chocolate (yum) called chocolate liquor.

Red haired kid holding up a Cadbury chocolate bar

Via Reshot

For chocolate chips, a machine called a drop depositor drops chocolate onto a conveyer belt to create whatever size and shape chip they want. Chocolate chips are pretty hot and soft at this point so they’ll travel through a cooling tunnel. By the time the chips exit the tunnel, they look pretty much like the ones we buy at the food store! After that, they go through a metal detector which is a normal food safety precaution. And there you have it, folks! That is how raw ingredients are combined to create the delicious milk chocolate we all know and love today. Enjoy!