Q:

What is chocolate made of?

A:

Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree. Its ingredients generally include cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin and in some cases vegetable fat. Milk and speciality chocolates may have additional ingredients such as milk, fruits and nuts.

The process of creating chocolate is complex. It starts with the harvesting of cocoa beans, which are found in the cocoa tree's fruit, also known as cocoa pods. The beans are taken out of these pods and dried before being shipped to the factory. These are then fermented, roasted and ground to create a liquid called chocolate liquor. This liquid naturally contains cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Pressure is then applied to the chocolate liquor to remove the cocoa butter, which leaves behind a pressed cake that is cooled and turned into cocoa powder.

Cocoa that is sold at grocery stores and used as a flavor by bakeries contains at least 10 percent cocoa butter. While cocoa is created by removing a percentage of cocoa butter, chocolate for eating is produced by adding it. Cocoa butter is an important ingredient of chocolate and makes about one-fourth of an average chocolate bar. It adds flavor to the chocolate and makes it more fluid.


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