Sunday, June 04, 2017

Bacterial contamination during chocolate processing

Chocolate is the solid or semi-solid food prepared by finely grinding cocoa. It must have a minimum of 50% fat.

During fermentation process many types of contamination may occur during this primary part of manufacture of chocolate. At the peak of fermentation the temperature builds up, which promotes the growth of bacteria and molds.

The raw fermented cocoa beans arriving in the factory have very high bacterial counts and during the cleaning, roasting and winnowing process, dust is produced that can contaminate finished products.

In the process of converting the press cake to powder, there is ample opportunity for it to become reinfected and further cross-infection can occur in the user’s factory. Another way in which the bacteria count can be increased is through the flavor addition.

Sanitation is a major problem, especially since many chocolate products are finished by hand-dipping; employee sanitation practices are, therefore, very important to prevent product contamination. These products are generally consumed by children, who are highly susceptible to enteric infections.

In chocolate factories, water plays an important role in maintaining the temperature of liquid chocolate masses in pipes and storage tanks as well as for tempering and cooling. Microleaks may lead to contamination of the product and it is therefore necessary to guarantee the absence of Salmonella by appropriate disinfection methods.

Recontamination from the processing environment is a further possibility and control can be achieved by an adequate layout of production lines allowing the physical separation of unclean, potentially contaminated zones from clean zones where roasted beans are further processed.
Bacterial contamination during chocolate processing 

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