Cacao Powder Grinding
Most cocoa powder is 8-10 um in particle size - if you require finer, try something like a jet mill.
I'd be surprised if you required finer than that. It's probably easier simply to find an alternate cocoa powder - perhaps the one you're using is of poor quality. Jet milling can give you sub micron particle size, but it will be very, very expensive.
Ill contact the CSIRO and the Symbio lab on Tuesday to see if they can do particle size and distribution. My guess is that the powder is quite coarse (i can see particles on sifting) and a bit of milling in something like a Buhler powder mill would turn it into a less bitter more smooth iced confection offering.
I'm afraid there is no such thing as a cold pressed cocoa powder - at least i've never seen one. it may be an expeller process, but it's still going to be a hot process. The purpose of pressing is to get the cocoa butter out, and if the cocoa butter is solid, it won't come out. If you use a supercritical solvent extraction process, you can keep the temperature down, but it wont be organic then.
Really the only benefit of keeping the temp low might be to keep some of the heart healthy components around longer - which are bitter.
Sounds like whomever is making it isn't giving you quite the right process description, and from what you're indicating, however they're grinding it is simply insufficient. there's plenty of cocoa processors in your neck of the woods who will be capapble of doing a typical grind cocoa powder. i think i might know the answer - but out of curiosity who's supplying your current powder?
I just got home from a great weekend in the mountains to read this trash!
IceBlocks, you throw around buzzwords like you know what you're talking about (...ourfair trade, organic cold pressed... blah blah) , and then when pressed by someone who REALLY DOES know what he's talking about you confess PUBLICLY nonethelessthat you don't even know if it is "cold pressed".
It's people like you that I got into this industry in the first place - people who use words because they sound good, and without concern of the ramifications that they have when a consumer reads them and then goes into a LEGIT business and says "I'm raw vegan and I want to purchase chocolate made with cold pressed cocoa butter." Then my staff have to undo the damage YOU have caused.
Personally I'm dumbfounded that you haven't even thoroughly researched your ingredients in the first place, and given what you've written here, it's highly doubtful that you even have a clue if it's fair trade or organic!
Shame on you.
1) I have a copy of the organic certification certificates for the cacao powder...
2) Fair trade products come with a FLO ID...
3) I assume if a reputable supplier describes it as cold pressed that it is...
4) We legally have to pasteurize it, so it's not raw, so don't care if it was...
5) Whats the problem with people wanting a vegan product? It's their choice.
6) What is your problem with organics? We choose to stimulate demand for something we believe in. Ours and our customers choice.
7) If you cant meet a demand don't whine to me
The language and attitude is totally uncalled for. We've had these discussions privately. You can make the points you want to make without being either overbearing or condescending.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
I wasn't overbearing or condescending.
I simply caught a liar in a lie. After all Clay, it wasn't like the words just "slipped" off of IceBlocks' keyboard! He consciously typed them, and even made sure they were spelled right. In fact they were even used in correct context, which can only lead a person to believe that IceBlocks KNOWS what the words mean, and the impact they have.
SOMEBODY needs to step up and call to task those who purposely misrepresent themselves and/or their products. If nobody did this, what value would forums like this have?
"language used..."??? I didn't know "shame on you" was swearing.
If you want to chastize someone in your "house of business" chastize the guy who misleads people, and not the guy who points out obvious marketing BS designed to mislead others.
Brad, maybe it wasn't so much of a lie as it was just misinformation? It seems that maybe IceBlocks is of about the same knowledge level as I am (that is, having read up on most things readily available, but doesn't have the working knowledge of the industry that a veteran chocolatier would have?), and took a supplier's terms that he used at face value. I think you're really upset at his supplier for labeling something as "cold-pressed" that obviously (to someone who knows what the process of separating cocoa butter from the powder truly entails) could never have undergone such a process.
I do understand where you're coming from, since as a professional it irks to hear someone use terms like that so improperly. There needs to be a standard that everyone is held to, and deceptive labeling should be punished appropriately. BUT, that doesn't mean that an entrepreneur who is ignorant of certain parts of the process should be derided and chastised for a simple mistake.
How about educating him on the reasons as to why it's impossible for him to have "cold-pressed, raw cocoa butter" instead of berating him for not having this knowledge beforehand? I mean, that's the point of these forums, right? For people to come together and share knowledge of cocoa and chocolate?
Peace and Love!
99% of the time I can't disagree with what you've written here Tom.
In this particular case, IceBlocks comes across as someone technically astute. After all, how many chocolatiers do you know of who talk about sending their cocoa powder to a lab for analysis?
HERE'S A BETTER ONE: Iceblocks says they have to conform to HACCP as required by the Australian Government. HACCP is an acronym which stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and is a very comprehensive program that companies use to identify critical points of potential microbial contamination in their manufactured food. Given that the Australian Government has determined that raw cocoa powder is contaminated and needs sterilization (or so Iceblocks says), it doesn't take a rocket scientist to put 2 and 2 together and conclude that raw cocoa butter comes from raw cocoa beans, and if raw cocoa solids are contaminated, the raw cocoa butter would DEFINITELY be considered contaminated too and thus a critical control point in the manufacturing process, which would definitely mandate further research into the supplier's claims, and also require a step to sterilize it, which would ALSO mean the fact that it's cold pressed would be irrelevant, because it would be heated at some point!
In the manufacturing world, it is common knowledge that fats such as cocoa butter act as fabulous preservatives and suspension mediums for pathogens such as eColi and Salmonella - allowing the bacterium to live much longer than if they were just on the surface of a food item.
For further educational purposes (after all, we're here to learn right?), here are the seven key points to an effective HACCP program: Note that STEP ONE mandates that Iceblocks should have done his homework LONG before he wrote about raw processed cocoa butter.
HACCP step 1 requires manufacturers to conduct a hazard analysis; they must identify food hazards and implement a written HACCP plan for food hazards that are reasonably likely to occur during processing. Step 2 requires manufacturers to identify within the HACCP plan the critical control points (CCPs)the points in the manufacturing process where the identified food hazards can be minimizedand the measures that will be taken to control the hazards. The third step requires manufacturers to identify and establish critical limits, the outer boundaries in which physical, biological, or chemical parameters must remain in order to control the food hazards. 
HACCP steps 4, 6 and 7establishing monitoring, record-keeping and verification proceduresensure the proper day-to-day functioning of the manufacturing process. Manufacturers must maintain records documenting the ongoing application of the HACCP; this requires written proof that the processor is monitoring the critical control points and critical limits, i.e., the actual recording of times, temperatures, and other measurements required by the HACCP plan. Furthermore, the food processors must verify that the HACCP plan is being implemented properly. Trained individuals must review the companys HACCP records and consumer complaints, check the calibration of process monitoring instruments, and, when necessary, conduct periodic end-product or in-process testing. Because scientific knowledge is always expanding, the food processor must also validate its HACCP plan annually; if the food processor had earlier concluded that no hazards were present and no HACCP plan was needed, it must reassess its earlier hazard analysis whenever there are any changes that could reasonably affect whether a food hazard now exists.
The final HACCP step (step 5) requires manufacturers to establish corrective actions. Manufacturers must include within their HACCP plans corrective actions for situations in which a deviation from a critical limit occurse.g., when sterilization machinery does not maintain the proper temperature. These plans should ensure that any injurious product is withheld from the stream of commerce and that the cause of the deviation is corrected. Should a deviation occur for which there is no plan, the manufacturer must quarantine the potentially injurious product; determine whether the food product meets the safety criteria for distribution; and take appropriate action to ensure that any injurious product does not reach consumers and that the cause of the deviation is corrected. Anytime the manufacturer takes corrective actions, the actions must be documented. Importantly, when a deviation occurs for which there is no plan, the manufacturer must reassess the HACCP plan, and make any necessary modifications to the plan; this requirement ensures that when unexpected deviations occur, the manufacturer will reassess and rework the safety and quality controls it has built into the system.
For further reading on the HACCP infrastructure, please feel free to visit the following web page: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/8965572/Axelrod06.html?s...
There is no way around this. Either Iceblocks is lying about HACCP, OR Iceblocks is lying about his cocoa butter being cold pressed. It is logically impossible to know about one, and not care/not know about the other. Iceblocks is not simply "misinformed."
I stand by what I said before. Shame on Iceblocks.
I guess there is one other possibility: Iceblocks doesn't have a clue about either HACCP, OR cold pressing of cocoa butter, in which case double shame on him.
You are off topic, condescending, rude and potentially libellous and I'm surprised this site allows trolls to continue posting un censored.
You're right about my reference to cocoa butter. However, everything else I say is accurate, unless you would like to prove otherwise.
The nice thing about anonline forum is that it enables exchange - certainly an exchange that allows you to dismiss my observations.
Go ahead and please do.
Tom. I'm not upset. I'm just pointing out things that I see.
Having said that, I would LOVE to have IceBlocks explain the relevance of "raw" and "cold pressed" when it applies to either cocoa butter OR cocoa powder, when the process of pasteurization nullifies that by bringing the temperature of the product in excess of 165 degrees F for several minutes - far above what people find acceptable for "raw" food.
After all, we're ALL about sharing here. Right?
>it's highly doubtful that you even have a clue if it's fair trade or organic!
We have copies of the organic certifications...
>the guy who misleads people
In what way? By saying we buy cold pressed cacao powder from reputable suppliers...
>Either Iceblocks is lying about HACCP,
>OR Iceblocks is lying about his cocoa butter being cold pressed.
Because the suppliers claim its raw, before combining with other pasteurized products, the powder must be pasteurized. That is actually a HACCP critical control step.
We don't use cocao butter. What a burk.
What's highly doubtful is your ability to comprehend English or intellectually understand. What is unquestionable is your condescending rudeness
Now can we get back on topic
The point that I'm getting at is that as it applies to your original question, who cares if it's "fair trade, organic cold pressed"??? These qualities whether true or not are irrelevant. It's just cocoa powder, yet you seemed to feel it important to qualify it for some reason.
If cocoa powder is "fair trade" does that make the particle size different? Nope.
If the cocoa powder is "organic", does that make the particle size different? Nope.
If it's "cold pressed" (even IF you can prove that claim which I don't believe you can), does that make the particle size different? Nope again.
Particlesize is directly related to the milling of the press cake after the valuable cocoa butter is extracted.
I fully understand the English Language, and fully understand that the adjectives you added to the noun were irrelevant to begin with, and mislead people into believing it is something which it isn't, when what most cocoa powder really is, is a by-product of extracting cocoa butter from beans that nobody wants to make into chocolate.
You can call me names all you want, because that's all you have. You can provide NO valuable or substantiable information which refutes what I claim.
But then again, what do I know, I wasn't on the debate team in school. I was busy being a dumb jock.
You dont have a point Brad just a series of condescending, poorly constructed, rude rants. Upon reflection they are more laughable than libellous.
Can I say my (as in bought in burk) cacao powder is light brown? Appears roughly grinded? Tastes fantastic but sometimes a bit bitter? I (John) care about organics, fair trade and the nutritional value of foods. Why can't I say that? Or is it against your overbearing, chocolate fascist rules?
From personal experience dealing with many, many people in the chocolate world at all levels of experience and understanding from all over the world for more than a decade, I can tell with certainty that it is possible for someone to hold two contradictory opinions in their heads at the same time. Usually it is out of ignorance (often only partial knowledge as we all know a little knowledge is a dangerous thing) and not out of any deliberate attempt to misrepresent.
What I do like about the above reply is that you spent some time to find and present information about HAACP and present it in this discussion.
What I don't like about the above is that you presume malice on the part of the OP. I am a voracious reader and one quote I like is(I am paraphrasing here): "Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by ignorance." I also like this one from Goethe: "...misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent."
The root of my approach to moderating TheChocolateLife is to assume that people have incomplete knowledge and incomplete understanding. It is rare, I have found for people to deliberately misrepresent themselves here.
That's where I start from. I've been working in chocolate for over a decade and I freely admit that there is stuff I don't know. And there is stuff I will never know. But it's one of the reasons I started TheChocolateLife - so I could learn from thousands of others around the world who love chocolate. I did not create TheChocolateLife as a forum for members to publicly shame and ridicule other members because they did not have perfect knowledge.
There's a line in my book about the most important thing to take to a chocolate tasting - and that's a sense of humor. I go on to say that it's okay to take the chocolate seriously but we should be wary about taking our selves too seriously. Having humility and empathy is important, in my opinion.
And that's the tone I am striving for here, and it has certainly informed my approach to my chocolate career, moving away from calling myself a critic and focusing on mentoring and educating.
I try to lead by example - and sometimes I fail. And the community has lost some very strong, technically, members. And the community is the less for that. However, it's important for me to keep in mind at all times that this is just chocolate.
Brad - You have a lot of useful and valuable information to impart to the community. What you don't recognize (or if you do you simply don't care) is that you undermine yourself and your knowledge when you choose to be confrontational.
All I am asking is that you respect my wishes about how I want members address and speak to other members. I am very clear about that in the member guidelines and in the way I moderate discussions. You can make all the points you make - and people will actually want to listen to you - by being less confrontational.
It's like Gordon Ramsey is your role model here.
TheChocolateLife is not your community. You may feel, as a member, that you are entitled to unbridled expression: That is not the case.If you want a place where you are free to say whatever you want, however you want, then by all means start your own blog or community and open it up forunmoderated(prior to posting) comments from readers/members. It is in this last aspect that I lost any remaining shred of respect for Sam. She makes untrue allegations about me - publicly - but is unwilling to allow any form of feedback or rebuttal.
And at this point, I am closing this discussion for at least 48 hours to let the flames die down.
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
updated by @clay: 06/13/15 08:32:21PM