In the whole-bean roasting technology, the organic cocoa beans are roasted before they are crushed into nibs. After this, the nibs go through several stages of cleaning, before they are ground into cocoa liquor. Roasting the whole cocoa bean will result in a better flavor profile for the cocoa liquor. For this reason, the whole-bean roasting technology is often preferred by chocolatiers for making fine-flavor, single-origin or bean-to-bar chocolate products.
Roasting The actual process of chocolate production only begins in the chocolate factories.
After careful cleaning, the cocoa beans are roasted in roasters, on grills or in rotating drums using hot air.
At temperatures between 120 and 160°C, the beans develop their typical roasted cocoa aroma and dark brown color. The beans' water content and microflora continue to drop.
During this step, the shells come loose and separate from the kernels. Depending on the intended level of roasting, this process can take between 10 and 45 minutes. The roasting time depends not only on the size and variety of the cacao beans but also on their quality. Bulk cocoa is roasted at slightly higher temperatures than fine or flavor cocoa.
Afterwards the beans cool down and are ready for the next step in their processing: deshelling and breaking.