What is it about?

Conching is the last stage of liquid chocolate manufacturing, in which chocolate mass is heated and kneaded for several hours in specialized machines, called conches. It is essential to develop flavor and texture in the final product. We have comprehensively reviewed the key physicochemical mechanisms taking place during conching that are responsible for changing and improving the flavor of chocolates.

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Why is it important?

Setting conching parameters is often done based on trial-and-error or manufacturer's expertise. Therefore, a more rational approach to the process could be helpful to professionals in the chocolate industry to achieve better and more consistent flavor profiles in their products. We have examined not only the influence that different conching conditions have upon flavor, but also their correlation with inherent properties of chocolate, such as formulation and the quality of raw materials.

Perspectives

The conching process is the "black box" of chocolate manufacture. Often immersed in mystery, its effects upon chocolate flavor are not entirely understood by either scientists or manufacturers. This has motivated me to study this subject in my PhD degree and to write this review along with my academic supervisor, Dr. Bolini. Writing about flavor was a challenge, as lexicons are rarely homogenous among studies and allude to very complex sets of sensations. Nonetheless, we gathered and compared data from both sensory and instrumental studies, which became a differential aspect of our review.

Pedro Pio Campregher Augusto
Universidade Estadual de Campinas

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This page is a summary of: The role of conching in chocolate flavor development: A review, Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, May 2022, Wiley, DOI: 10.1111/1541-4337.12975.
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