From cacao tree to chocolate barStáhnout-PDF:
The way from the cacao tree to the chocolate bar is a long one. Due to the many processing stages – harvest, fermentation, drying, cleaning, roasting, pre-crushing and finally grinding the cocoa nibs to liquor from which cocoa powder and cocoa butter are pressed – there may be significant variations in the quality. The quality control process not only includes testing the innocuousness of the product (e. g. fungi, heavy metal contamination) or the ingredients (fat, carbohydrate content), it also involves size reduction to an adequate particle size for a sensory test of the cocoa liquor. That is important because the human palate perceives particles as small as 30 microns as unpleasant.