Saturday, April 7, 2012

ChocoMuseo Antigua Guatemala's Ghirardelli 'Broma' Process:A Joke ,a Fraudulent Claim or the Truth?

ChocoMuseo Antigua Guatemala's Ghirardelli  'Broma' Process:A Joke ,a Fraudulent Claim or the Truth?

Update December 7,2012:

Below,before beginning my original article and post explaning why the Ghirardelli San Francisco chocolate company's,(now owned by Lindt & Sprüngli who deserve some criticism or legal action from consumers for maintaining this fraudulant claim), claim that they produce cocoa butter from the so-called 'broma process'  is a complete fraud and lie,you can see my recently rediscovered photo of the poster from the Chocomuseo Antigua,Guatemala  wall taken around Easter of this year  where Alain Schneider of France or Canada,or his girlfriend or both,we're not sure,lied about the Chocomuseo chain,(that he dreams of  turning into the Starbucks or MacDonalds of chocolate,ha),makes their own cocoa butter from the Ghirardelli 'broma process' ! In spaniish the word 'broma' means joke.In this case the term should just mean fraudulant lie !


  Hi Marc,
I almost thought I'd never find the photo you sent me from Chocomuseo.Now that I have I only wish to thank you profusely.However I have a technical problem.I want so badly to transfer it to my website but I can't cut and paste it because of the format I believe.But I'll show how dirty they play.Had you not got this sooner after my complaint and post about them all would have disappeared and their lies about using the Ghirardelli 'broma process' with it.

At ChocoMuseo we have our own factory. While visiting the museum, you will be able to see it, and observe how we produce chocolate right from the beans.

Our chocolate is made of organic cacao beans from the country where we are located. At ChocoMuseo, we use a handicraft manufacturing process, which is quite close to the industrial process that is described in the following diagram:

The main difference lies in the pressing, that separates the chocolate powder form the cacao butter. At ChocoMuseo, we do not need to achieve that step: Indeed, we do not add additional cacao butter to the recipe, and that's one of the reasons why our chocolate is so tasty!

Here is Alain Schneider's knew lie-con which is to claim what he does with his junk sugar
bar is exactly as I explained it should be done with honey,that is only the whole beans 52 % butter or fat content without adding an additional cocoa butter  from the hydrolic press or as he has previously lied,from the, HA HA, 'broma process'.


cacao powder

So Mark,if you still have the photo in digital form mayber tghere is still a way to put it directly on my site because it is much more powerful then having to provide a link to document his and his internet spamming gangs lies.They have complete control over tripadviser and all sorts of employees and related scamsters to spam it with praise for themselves.Just google search 'chocomuseo' or chocomuseo antigua' and see for yourself their spamming ability.Because they are involved with thechocolatelife.con website with that con artist who claims to have been involved with myriad 'start up' companies which generally means money laundering penny stocks and because he is a main spammer about the Ghirardelli broma process lie for some reason they are a definite sleazy bunch.

In spanish  'broma' means joke........

 From Ghirardelli's own website with claim that Mr.Domingo Ghirardelli  discovers or invents a 'broma' process to separate cocoa butter from cocoa powder in 1865.:

1865: Around this time, someone in the Ghirardelli Company makes an important observation—by hanging a bag of chocolate in a warm room, the cocoa butter drips out, leaving a residue that can be processed into ground chocolate. This technique, called the Broma process, is now generally used in the manufacture of chocolate........

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company The Ghirardelli Story
1998: Lindt and Sprungli Chocolate out of Switzerland acquires Ghirardelli Chocolate Company as a wholly owned subsidiary of its holding company.
(So does Ghirardelli 's owner,Lindt and Sprungli,have any responsibility for what so far appears to be a fraudulant claim that Ghirardelli Chocolate Company makes its cocoa butter from the Ghirardelli 'broma process' ? How many people may have bought their chocolate based upon this apparently incorrect assumption ? How much longer will Ghirardelli and Lindt and Sprungli maintain this lie on their website that misleads consumers to say the least ?)

below quotes from,(hee hee),'thechocolatelife' website:
methodology of the broma process
am a college student in my final year and as part of the curricula for the program, i have to under take a research project, my topic is extraction of cocoa butter using the broma process. i am stuck at the methodology (chapter 3) . so i would like y'all who know how to carry out the extraction of cocoa butter using the broma process to tell me step by step how to use the broma process to extract cocoa butter. counting on your co operation . my email is thanks in advance.
Permalink Reply by Clay Gordon on November 28, 2009 at 1:43pm

With respect to your question about how warm the answer is the warmer the better. The higher the temperature the more fluid the fat in the chocolate liquor will be. If you have a cabinet or room where you can control the temperature I'd start about 115F to see how that works and then increase by 5F increments to see how that affects things.

With respect to the fineness of the mesh. I would line a burlap sack with 2 or more layers of cheesecloth. The burlap will provide strength, the cheesecloth will strain the butter through while keeping the larger particles from seeping  out.-Clay Gordon

(P.S.:This self claimed chocolate 'expert', Clay Gordon,sounds like a shifty character in the first place to me as one who has been ripped off in 'penny stock' scams.He says on one site that he was a part in a number of unnamed 'start up companies' that he apparently isn't too proud of are he would have named them.'Start up companies' generally  is a nice way of saying penny stock pump and dump scams that generally require dubious underworld or Washington D.C. and or UK or Israeli connections to be part of the stock share money laundering activities they entail with shares that the corrupt U.S.SEC purposefully doesn't audit.I'm not saying this is true of the 'start up' companies he mentions or doesn't mention as the case may be but.... and he likes to hang out in Bangcock of all places.I want even ask why.)

Chocolate's Next Sweet Spot -
Subscription -
Wall Street Journal Online - Dec 1, 2006
Order a reprint of this article now The Wall Street Journal DETAILS ... "The homegrown competition is getting a whole lot stiffer," says Clay Gordon, editor and ........

 One is tempted to believe that perhaps in addition to his chocolate business Mr. Domingo Ghirardelli  may have also been the proprietor of the first gay bath house in gay old San Francisco in 1865 and somehow got distracted and left his ground cocoa beans in the sauna.If you have ever lived in SF and realise that the temperatures that are being thrown about for this so-called 'Ghirardelli broma process' rarely or never occur in San Francisco and that with the normally incoming coastal fog in the Bay Area during the summer that leave one,in addition to the cold fog, a wind chill that is quite cold if you are not covered up, then you begin to see the 'cacao broma process' to be a particularly funny San Francisco type of joke.Although it has been disputed as to whether the great American writer Mark Twain ever said this line attributed to him,however erroneously, he or someone most certainly did more than once during their summer vacation in SF, -"The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." - This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but until the attribution can be verified, ...

The following is info gathered re the so-called 'broma process' or myth or lie that  I began investigating shortly after a Mr.or Monsieur Alain Schneider of Alsace,France and Choco Museo or Chocolate Museum fame  wandered into the Tostaduria Antigua and snickered when I explained that we weren't like any other chocolate bar maker particularly chocolate candy maker in Antigua or Belgium for that matter, because all we did were 'natural cacao' with honey,not sugared candy bars per se.In fact I have often said that Belgian chocolate makers would do well to come here to take lessons in our simple cacao-honey bar process.If his business that misuses and abuses the true definition of museum were really a museum and he had a true interst in cacao history rather being like his heroes  the cacao industrialists Mr.Hershey and Mr.Nestle who used the Dutch Houton cocoa butter fat-cocoa powder separation  process and industrial machinery to pervert the pre 19th century cacao beans for their financial gain and the cacao beans rape and degradation,he could easily verify that in 2005 when we began making simple light roasted and ground cacao beans mixed with honey, that neither removed nor added cacao butter to the bean nor separated the bean into its constituent butter and powder only to bring them back together again generally in worse condition than before they were separated at over 6,000 pounds per square inch using an industrial press,(and certainly NOT the Ghirardelli
 'broma process' he lies about),then he would have to acknowledge that we in at the Tostaduria Antigua in Antigua Guatemala and certainly not the industrial over kill states of Europe or the U.S. whose out of control industrialism is killing us all WERE THE FIRST TO MAKE A NATURAL CACAO-HONEY BAR FOR SOME STRANGE REASON. CERTAINLY BELGIAN 'CHOCOLATIERS FOR INSTANCE NEVER DID SO, OR AM I WRONG ?Have any Belgian or other chocolate bar  makers been doing simple bars with unprocessed cacao beans lightly roasted and ground  then combining honey only to sweeten the bars ? In searching the internet since 2005 I certainly haven't found any and we appear to be the first based on our 2005 staring date.
Although this spanish and english translation of Alain Schneider's writing online is not precisely the same as on his wall at the Choco Museo where he specifically names Mr. Ghirardelli as the inventor of the non existent 'broma process' and claims that he is using the 'broma proccess and thus normal atmospheric pressure,( rather than using the standard 6,000 pounds per square inch plus  pressure of the average industrial oil or butter extractor), a few blocks away from his store or 'museum' to make cocoa butter from ground beans which simply isn't true in my opinion.And the powder he describes is simply unalkalized powder after the extraction which is what natural cacao powder is and the term I used to describe our ground cacao paste or liquor that we thwen combine with honey to make thew only 'natural cacao' bars I know of in the world.And considering that people around the world and particularly Europeans who took cacao from Mexico and Guatemala for their own and nuns combined not only sugar but honey to it to make drinks it's very strange no chocolate honey bars were made before and that the only chocolate candy bars came AFTER the Houton separated the cocoa butter from the cocoa powder because then after all that rtrouble,the only way to make a bar was to bring them back together again !:

Polvo de cacao   Cacao powder
El polvo de cacao se seppara de la Manteca de cacao con una prensa hidraulica, o su equivalente manual, el procesco broma. El polvo resultante tiene un sabor amargo o acido, y un tonto rojo que aclarara despues de la alcalinizacion.
Cacao powder can be separated from cacao butter thanks to a hydraulic press, or its manual equivalent, the broma process. The resulting powder has a sour or acidic taste, and ared tone that will lighten after alcalinization.- Alain Schneider,ChocoMuseo

(At the point in which the aproximate 6000 pounds of pressure per square inch comes down upon the ground cacao beans and cacoa butter separates from the 'powder', or non fat water soluble fraction of the bean, in the press alluded to above by ChocoMuseo's Alain Schneider, that is when,although completely 'denatured' from my point of view,the cacao industry 'professionals call the powder,'natural'.If, after this process occurs, the powder is further treated in an alkalai process,even further and more extremely damaging the formerly almost medicinal properties the beans had before undergoing these unnatural,(to say the least),industrial processes,the pwder is then said to be Dutch Chocolate in honor,(or disgrace),of the Dutch Houton son who out did his and his father's first industrial perversion of the natural cacao bean in 1825 by separating the whole cacao beans in their formerly  high quality state in the first place,into'denatured'  plant butter fat and protein and carbohydrate,etc., factions under such extreme conditions to begin with that damage is done just by turning them into separate butter and powder to begin with !As far as the French 'engineeer' and self made 'chocolatier' and mime' Alain Schneider's claim of making cacao butter from the 'Ghiardelli broma process' in La Antigua,Guatemala,ha,forget it.He's pulling your, (middle), leg just like his 'thechocolatelife' low life cohort, Clay Gardner.) 

Other methods and presses such as scew press or this homemade press  below may get away with lower than the modern industrial large scale presses but I still say why bother and if you do bother just to add more cacao  fat to a chocolate bar than nature's approximate 52% FOUND NATURALLY IN CACAO BEANS then what ? All you have done is diluted the natural antioxydant and protein and carbohydrate content of the natural bean in fat,however high a quality of fat that cocoa butter might be,and cacao beans naturally have such a high fat or butter content that the whole effert verges on the absurd,except to 'chocolatiers' on the poor consumsers they proselytize to and brainwash to believe that this is 'progess' or in some way better that pre 19th century ral natural cacao.Had someone made and succeeeded in marketing a chocolate bar before the 19th century it would have been a lot healthier than the chocolate candy bars made by both huge corpoartions and want-a-bes like the folks at ChocoMuseo.
Below is a homemade model based on earlier industrial cocoa butter extractors such as the one the Dutch Houton's had when they first pressed cocoa butter and powder  from natural cocoa beans in the early 19th century.Aside from some obcure uses in cosmetics,(that would still benefit from the whole bwean except for the inconvenient dark pigmentation of the non fat fraction),or some industrial application,using such a machine to make a chocolate candy bar with an unnaturally high fat content when the natural beans already contain around 52% verges on the technologically insane to me.:

                                        Our Cocoa Butter Press

Cocoa butter is an essential ingredient in chocolate.  It is extracted from a portion of cocoa beans and mixed together with another portion of cocoa beans along with sugar to make chocolate. It makes the chocolate creamy and mouth melting. The cocoa butter press and was invented by Coenraad Van Houton in Holland in 1828 but simple, small cocoa butter presses are no longer manufactured. Large-scale, very expensive and energy intensive presses are the only ones available these days. Therefore, GrenadaChocolate had to design and build our own small-scale simple cocoa butter press.

 The challenge in cocoa butter pressing is achieving huge pressures. Industrial presses use as much as 6000 psi, requiring over a hundred tons of hydraulic pressure pushing on a press cylinder.  Our press uses much lower pressures like the old-style presses and provides about 1500 psi using a standard 20 ton hydraulic car jack.
Our press cylinder is machined out of standard seamless pipe stock (6 inch diameter) and sits on a 2 inch thick steel press plate which contains small holes and a fine stainless screen. As a steel piston pushes down on the liquefied cocoa inside the cylinder, clear liquid cocoa butter squirts and drips out of the bottom of the press plate and into the collection bowl.  The piston needs to be re-pressurized every few minutes by cracking the jack a couple of times. It takes about 45 minutes to complete each batch in the press.
The press is continually heated using attached gas burners...........

Here's another site for the Rube Goldberg-esque dream to build the perfect cocao butter extraction machine.When will they learn that ALL cocao butter extraction methods are absurd for the purpose of making chocolate candy bars and that process alone used only to add more butter fat to a cacao sugar  bar only dilutes the non fat portion that contains most of the nutrients and antioxydants,etc. that has made cacao more popular than ever recently ? And there is the danger these extaction methods may very well damage these benficicial molecules.And cocoa 'powder' can be made without need to remove the butter either and in my opinion makes a chocolate drink creamier and of a much higher quality than cream from milk. :

 Chocolate Alchemy ForumThe Art and Science of Homemade Chocolate ...
8 Jan 2008 – Author, Topic: help building my own cocoa butter press (Read 2801 times) ... The question is how do you contain the cocoa liquor and put 2000 psi of pressure on it at ... The piteba looks like a toy version of the industrial screw type presses. ... And what about the heating of the press for additional extraction.

I only noticed that Alain Schneider's misinfo was inspired not only by my explaining to him the simple fact that cacao or cocoa 'naturals' meant that they weren't teated by alkalizing the powder and of course when you don't separate the powder from the butter and just grind the whole bean you automatically qualify to call your product natural cacao even though the term strangely was invented by the chocolate industrialists to mean cocoa powder that HAD been extracted under great pressure and NOT the myth or lie about the (ha ha) 'broma process' and only now I notice his site 'explaining' or confusing the Dutch Houton cocoa butter extraction process that has basically remained the same since the early 19th century when the Houton father and son separated cacao butter from the newlly created 'cocoa powder' with his non existent Ghiardelli (ha ha) 'broma process was also done after I gave him a gift of my cocoa powder made from whole cocoa beans that kept all the butter in in of course because we don't make nor by from industry the cocoa powder he needs to make Hershey's like chocolate candy bars.So he ignores that one can make their own much better cocoa powder,that in fact can't be bought anywhere in stores or the internet,by simply buying cocoa beans ansd grinding them in one of those small whirly blade coffee grinders many people have as a household item !To my knowledge we at the Tostaduria Antigua are also the only or about the only ones to do such a simple thing and ALWAYS explain that to our customers.
It is said on one website that the SCHARFFEN BERGER makes some of the best big corporate,(they are now owned by Hershey's), cocoa powder and one main reason given was because they leave more cocoa butter in their powder.So why bother with them OR Mr.Choco Museo's (ha ha),'' Ghirardelli broma process' cocoa that doesn't exist anyway and wouldn't be as good as you could grind in a little whirly blade coffee grinder you can get for $20 or less that will last you a looong time and make much better cocoa that you can't even buy at present in stores or the internet ? Mr. or Monsieur Schneider and his Choco Museo circus appears to be a font of self serving misinformation.In fact one couple who took his 'class' for $40 bucks or Euros or whatever even told me when they were buying our lightly roasted cacao beans to make real honey chocolate at home that he or his wife or whoever after having them spend time smashing cocoa beans by hand - then took that hand groud pile of beans away and brought out the finished product so really no one learns anything and the 'secret' is there IS nothing to 'learn'.

Here's link and  to the Chocomuseo - Ghirardelli 'broma' lie and photo of that lie posted on their wall.The statement shows what complete Barnum and Baley con artists they are and willingness and enthusiasm to lie to self promote their mediocre choclate made basically from processed cocoa powder and cocoa butter derived NOT from any 'broma' process,ha ha,but by the usual unnatural 
ton or more prresusure per square press just as Ghirardelli does.Go ahead email and ask them to sell you some 100% guaranteed cocoa butter made fom the, hee hee,'broma process':

cacao powder

Note that I just came across this on the chocomuseo website today, December 5,2012.

ChocoMuseoChocolate from bean to bar
The main difference lies in the pressing, that separates the chocolate powder form thecacao butter. At ChocoMuseo, we do not need to achieve that step: Indeed ...

So now Chocomuseo  went from lieing about getting cocoa butter from the 'broma' process that I exposed to be a lie,to not needing additional cocoa butter which was what I have contended all along,particulary in this post.Alain the phony unfunny 'meme' and his gang's silly con artistry is too much.Because no one sees a bar finished but leave before ever completing the process and because they have already claimed to use cocoa powder and cocoa butter even though they lied about its source and claimed it was from the non-existent Ghirardelli 'broma' process,who can believe anything they say except that their ambition to step on others to make money blinds them to the fact that it was here in Antigua that the first honey cacoa bars were made and NOT certainly by them who have never acknowledged that we even do so.If one reviews the literature on cacao history in Europe which was written versus their made up tale of how native American Aztec or Maya made their drinks,no bar was ever made for eating until after 1825 when the Dutch Houtons used the press,(and certainly not any 'broma' process') requiring tons of pressure pèr square inch.And that's where they get ands still DO get their cocoa butter which they probably lie about having stopped using since I made this post.
So all historians of chocolate agree that at least as far as written history no bars for eating or chocolate  candy bars such as Choco makes and others around the world make better,appeared until AFTER the Hountons spliot the cacao bean into butter and powder for the first time in history in 1825.And I searched for a cacao or chocolate honey bar on the internet when we at the Tostaduria Antigua first made one in 2005.
There was none and  no recipe such as our 50% honey and 50% ground cacao bean 
which was posted here a while back for the record.Anyone who tries it will agree that 50 per cent ratio is the ideal cacao or natural choclate bar recipe.Less makes the natural bar too bitter for most tastes and more makes the bar to soft and sticky.

Adding more than 50% is good if you do want it sweeter and particularly for a pancake,crepe or fench toast syrup which is generally make by dropping ground pieces of bitter unseetened cround cacao into warm cup of honey and stir for a few minutes.

Actually I found this link below  that indeed explains just what we hit upon independently  for making 'whole bean' cocoa powder.Note the author of this very relevant article is,like us,not concerned AT ALL about leaving 100% of that excellent cacao butter in his drink which as I have come to conclude is many times better than 'dutched' or alkilinzed 'cocoa powder'  or 'natural' cocoa powder that had to use all the absurd technology mentioned above to make.I guess making your own powder using a whirly blade coffee grinder or food processor  should be called 'super natural' by comparison. IT'S A VERY GOOD PICTORIAL DESCRIPTION,HOWEVER I STILL RECOMMEND HONEY AND NOT SUGAR WHEN POSSIBLE.However because we have access to wholw cacao beans we don't use broken up beans that the author refers to as 'nibs'. And when we grind them we don't remove the thin skin from the bean any more than if I were grinding peanuts I would bother to remove the skin of the peanut or peel off the skin of a potato for that matter.Everything we've been taught is wrong or so it seems sometimes:

 How to Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix

How to Make Your Own Hot Chocolate Mix: This article has 3 parts

Part 1: Explains a little about cacao beans and how chocolate is made
Part 2: Shows you how to grind your own hot chocolate powder from cacao nibs
Part 3: Gives you a recipe for turning that hot chocolate powder into a luxurious hot drink

Homemade hot chocolate mix makes a fabulously thoughtful and unique holiday gift for folks you really, really like. Pack some up with a bag of gourmet marshmallows and a pair of nice mugs for a tidy little gift basket.

The final hot chocolate is fragrant with fresh, rich chocolate and flecked with small specks of ground cacao nib.

Here’s my homemade cocoa powder:

The Hungry Mouse's Homemade Hot Chocolate Powder

Also don't believe everything you read on sites like and particularly if you have a lot of employees or connected people as this Choco Museo obviously does can anonymously spam the site with,'Oh,how wonderful' and 'just out of this world chocolate' and 'the chocolate class taught me so much',(ha),phrases that can go on and on and on and.......No offense to tripadvisor,they should be aware of how their site can be used for free advertizing and self promotion as well.

What was funny in the end was his starting the tall tale on his Choco Museo wall after his visit to the Tostaduria Antigua about making 'broma' cocoa butter a few blocks from his 'factory' using Mr.Domingo Ghirardelli's,(of 19th century California gold rush era fame),when in fact there is every reason to believe that Ghiardelli's claim is itself a hoax.Every cacao butter extraction porcess from the more water soluble powder fraction uses extreme pressure.To quote from an article cited and used extensively by me below by.Stephanie Zonis, regarding so-called 'raw chocolate',to compare our cacao bar-honey process with conventional processed cacao candy bars with sugar,that her article highlights,' These presses',(for separating cocoa butter from powder), 'are serious business; according to Maricel E. Presilla’s The New Taste of Chocolate, they can exert a force of over six thousand pounds per square inch.'(Even when a brilliant French 'engineer' like Alain Schneider translates that figure to kilos per square centimeter we're dealing with a lot of pressure and weight.)
Further had Alain Schneider been paying attention to what I was saying when he came to visit he would not have confused 'natural  chocolate' or cacao with a very questionable and made up term like the 'broma process' in the first place.When I to  mentioned to Alain Schneider that we were doing only 'cacao naturals' I was only using a term used by chocolate professionals or chocolate industrialists  to emphasize that we don't do the Dutch alkalia process that was invented by the Houton father and son of Holland after they did the first industrial high pressure pressing of ground cacao beans to separate the  cocoa butter from what would become for the  first time  in 1825 when the Houton's used their industrial press on ground cacao beans - cocoa powder, (something that had never before existed  in the history of chocolate, and in my opinion, to make a chocolate bar,NEVER  SHOULD have been done!Just imagine all that use of industrial machinery to separate cacao butter from cacao 'powder' or the water soluble fraction only to in the end have to recombine them after this perverted process in order to make a chocolate bar in the first place ! Why bother ? I'm sure that had this never been done and the powder had never further been 'denatured' by poisoning it in the Dutch alkine rocess to 'get rid of bitterness',(the very tastes that first attracted both indigenous Moso American cultures and later European aritocrats to it in the first place,that people's tates would now be revolted by a
Hershey's or Nestle's or ChocoMuseo bar if they were offered it for the first time ! And a bar of simply cacao lightly roasted would be the only thing they really wanbted and preferably with honey ! And medical doctors studying the beneficial effects of consuming large quantities of natural cacao beans,rather than sugary Hershey or Nestles  even so-called 'dark chocolate bars' also generally make by the industrially denatured processing of artificial cacao  beans or seeds that besides sugar require cacao butter often up to 65% rather than nature's and pre-industrial chocolate's 52%.And undoubtedly even without the Dutch alkalai process that we now know began greatly diminishing the nutrient value of cacao products after  Holland's Houton father and son
'split the cacao bean' on a molecular level ,as the atom would eventually be 'split' on the sub-atomic a bit over 100 years after that,probably has a negative effect upon the nutrient value of the former cacao bean as well.
I feel that had the Mayan gods or nature wanted a cacao product made with more than the approximate 52% cocoa butter found naturally in the bean or seed - the gods or nature would have evolved such a bean.
As an aside  it is interesting to note that the coffeee proffessionals refer to 'coffee naturals' but are refering to a completely different phenomenon and not to any chmical treatment or lack their of as in the case of 'cacao naturals' .Coffee naturals that I used to call 'zero water coffee' and refered to in spanish in Guatemala and Latin America as 'cereza en seco' or 'dried coffee cherry' simply means coffee beans that are dried out after harvest in and with their fruit, the 'coffee berry' or 'coffee cherry'as translated more literally in spanish.This is generally done here by the smallest growers who do not have access to large sources of centralized water. Although for various reasons they don't roast as even in color as those 'fermented' in water,they do have their own following among some coffee connoisseurs .
If Monsieur Alain Schneider is the French  university engineering wiz that he or the French university that graduated him claims he is,(and' mime' on the side or vice versa),I would sure be interested to know how his and the deceased Mr. DomingoGhirardelli's 'broma process' to extract cacao butter from ground cacao beans only requires atmospheric pressure and just what per cent of cacao butter is he getting a pound or kilo from his ground cacao beans  and at what temperature does he need to 'sweat' the butter our of the beans for lack of a better term ? Is he doing it in his sauna here in Antigua whose climate in many ways is comparable much of the year to San Francisco's frigid climate ?

 Alain Schneider's Page - The Chocolate Life
3 Jan 2012 – Alain Schneider's Page on The Chocolate Life. ... Vercruysse Geert liked Alain Schneider's event 'Cacao and Chocolate tours to Machu Picchu' ...

To quote one of Alain Schneidr's colleagues re the,(snicker snicker,hee hee),Clay
Gordon about the hee hee 'broma process','With respect to your question about how warm the answer is the warmer the better. The higher the temperature the more fluid the fat in the chocolate liquor will be. If you have a cabinet or room where you can control the temperature I'd start about 115F to see how that works and then increase by 5F increments to see how that affects things.
'With respect to the fineness of the mesh. I would line a burlap sack with 2 or more layers of cheesecloth. The burlap will provide strength, the cheesecloth will strain the butter through while keeping the larger particles from seeping  out.'

Note that Mr.Gordon never said 'I LINED A BURLAP SACK WITH 2 LAYERS OF CHEESECLOTH'..,
etc..He said 'I WOULD LINE'..! So, does this bit of semantic horse play lead us to conclude that Mr.Clay Gordon NEVER 'DID IT' ?Ha.

One is tempted to believe that perhaps in addition to his chocolate business Mr.Domingo  Ghirardelli may have also been the proprieter of the first gay bath house in gay old San Francisco in 1865 and somehow got distracted and left his ground cocoa beans in the sauna.If you have ever lived in SF and realise that the temperatures that are being thrown about for this so-called 'Ghiardelli broma process' rarely or never occur in San Francisco and that with the normally incoming coastal fog in the Bay Ara during the summer that leave one in addition to wind chill quite cold if you are not covered up then you begin to see the 'cacao broma process' to be a particulaerly San Francisco type of joke.Although it has been disputed as to whether the great American writer Mark Twain ever said this line attributed to him however erroneously,he or someone most certainly did more than once during their summer vacation in SF, -"The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." - This quote has been attributed to Mark Twain, but until the attribution can be verified, ...

 From Ghiradelli's own website with claim that Mr.Domingo Ghiardelli' discovers or invents a 'broma' process to separate cocoa butter from cocoa powder in 1865.:

Ghirardelli's Rich History
In 1849, when Domingo Ghirardelli immigrates to the United States from his homeland of Italy, he has dreams of striking it rich in the California Gold Rush.....Domingo decides to open a store and hotel in San Francisco. After a major fire in 1851 destroys his businesses, he begins to rebuild. In 1852, he forms a new confectionary company that is to become the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.........
Domenico Ghirardelli 1817: Domenico Ghirardelli is born in Rapallo, Italy (near Genoa) to an exotic foods importer.....
1837: At the age of 20, Ghirardelli marries first wife, and sets sail to Uruguay to partake in the South American chocolate trade......
1838: A year later, attracted by opportunities in Lima, Ghirardelli sails around Cape Horn to Peru. Fatefully, Ghirardelli opens a confectionery store next to a cabinet shop owned by an American, James Lick.
1847: Enticed by the stories prosperity in North America, Lick leaves for San Francisco, taking 600 pounds of neighbor Ghirardelli's Chocolate with him. Meanwhile, Ghirardelli continues to operate his store in Peru, soon replacing his Italian name with its Spanish equivalent, Domingo.....
1849: Following the death of his first wife and his remarriage to Carmen Alvarado, Ghirardelli learns of the gold strike at Sutter's Mill and sails unaccompanied to California
1852: After the Cairo Coffee House proves unsuccessful, Ghirardelli stays in San Francisco and forms a new confectionery company called Ghirardely & Girard on the corner of Kearny and Washington streets. This is the establishment of what is to become the modern day Ghirardelli Chocolate Company .....

1865: Around this time, someone in the Ghirardelli Company makes an important observation—by hanging a bag of chocolate in a warm room, the cocoa butter drips out, leaving a residue that can be processed into ground chocolate. This technique, called the Broma process, is now generally used in the manufacture of chocolate........

my letter to Ghirardelli Chocolate,San Francisco,California re broma process:

Cental America 03001

Ghirardelli Chocolate website

Dear Ghirardelli Chocolate,
I only heard of the Ghirardelli 'broma process' by chance here in
Antigua Guatemala from a
chocolate maker  who claims that he uses chocolate powder
and butter separated by the  .Ghirardelli 'broma process' .Strangely
upon searching the internet looking
to purchase some 'broma process'cocoa butter and cocoa powder I find
it is impossible to do and there is none available to be purchased
anywhere !
Are you the only makers of this product or is this process really
manufactured and sold at present ? You must realize as residents of
San Francisco what I thought when I read on the
Wikipedia that Mr.Ghirardelli discovered the 'broma process' in San Francisco of
all places.I imagined that it was perhaps discovered in a hotter place
than SF where
the temperature rarely - very rarely - reaches the melting temperature
of cocoa butter.
In 1994 I opened the Tostaduria Antigua here in Antigua,Guatemala in
order to roast coffee.
It was only in about 2005 that we began to roast cacao beans and grind
them as well
with or without honey.
I also researched and and made products out of the Mayan plant Pataxte
or Theobroma bicolor
and demonstrated for myself its cocoa butter like properties and
potential to be
a real 'white chocolate' only it is unfortunately very hard to come by nowadays.

To sum up my 'broma process' query - do you really manufacture cocoa
butter using this so-called 'broma process' or not.If so why can I not find it for
sale on the internet ? And is the person who claims to make his own 'broma process'
cocoa butter and powder being honest or possibly not telling the truth.If you
look at the Chocolate Museum website from Madrid,Spain they also allude to
the Ghirardelli 'broma process' .I have seen the more conventional seed
oil extractors and one used in Guatemasla to make cocoa butter and of
course one does not need the 'broma process' whether it exists or not,in
order to produce cocoa powder 'naturals' that have not been treated by
alkaline or 'Dutch' process.But please help clear up this
'broma process' rumor or fact as the case may be.
I like to think of Mr.Ghirardelli, a legend in the modern history of cocoa,
as a kind and honest human being who would,if he were with us
today,enlighten me regarding this controversy or mystery so that I
myself can educate others based upon your educated reply.For our honey
cacao paste I decided years ago that the 50+% of cacao butter found in the
cacao bean was plenty for making natural cacao honey bars.I need
neither more  nor less in my ground paste and I doubt that 'broma
process' cocoa butter would
be in any way better than the,probably,more efficient conventional
modern methods and extactors or presses,particulary if dubious
chemical extraction techniques are not added to the conventional press or '
broma process' do you ?
And while I have seen an industrial press used to extract cocoa butter
from beans here in Guatemala, that can also be seen on youtube,I have
never seen any equivalent demonstration of the so-called Ghirardelli
'broma process' anywhere.To sum up my query to you - Are those
claiming to make cocoa butter from the so-called  Ghirardelli 'broma
process' telling the truth or perpetuating a hoax or a bad 'broma'
upon the public ? (Broma,as you may know, means a 'joke' in Spanish.
PATAXTE,(THEOBROMA BICOLOR):Real ‘White Chocolate’,'Macademia Nut’ Of The Maya ?
by Tony Ryals


Ghiardelli's reply or lack thereof from January 23,2012:

 Your inquiry 5070549

Dear Tony Ryals
Thank you very much for contacting us. We have registered your inquiry and will get back to you as quickly as possible.
If you wish to contact us in regard to the current matter please send your message to consumerservice-gh@ We kindly ask you to include the Ticket number 5070549.
Yours sincerely,

Consumer Affairs Department
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company, Inc.
1111-139th Avenue
San Leandro, CA 94578-2631

I first heard of the so-called Ghiardelli  'broma' process to separate cocoa butter from cocoa powdwer from someone who visited the Choco Museo in Antigua Guatemala a short while ago when it landed in Guatemala and after a Mr.Alain Schneider visited the Tostaduria Antigua to announce that he had brought the next  shop of that name,or chain it appears, to town .I presume this chain of processed chocolate shops,one in Nicaraqua,one in Peru and now one in Antigua Guatemala is not related to the only one I heard about before,in Grenada,Spain,which like this one is not a museum at all.
Sure it's got some supposedly 'educatational' writing in Spanish and English on the wall and seems a little like what Starbuck's or McDonald's  would be if they were touting chocolate instead of coffee or burgers but I was told by one person who toured both before buying our honey chocolate and lightly  roasted ground beans to make more honey chocolate back home,that as processed chocolate goes,'dark' or milk chocolate that even Fernando's,(who got that small roaster thanks to me when a European came by in the 1990's enquiring as to where he could get one made and gave or sold it to Fernando instead), does a better job in that department.He also started chocolate immediately after I did but thankfully left our honey-chocolate invention alone.Thanks for that one Fernando,your conventional cacao bars are said to be better than Alain's but that is not the kind of cacao or cocoa bars we make - only natural caco with its 52% cocoa butter that we NEVER remove nor add to.I don't think I want to make a 65% cocoa butter bar nor use sugar although that's the taste consumers are used to.

Another hidden price of Choco Museo Sugar Bars:

Mystery disease kills thousands in Central America | World news

12 Feb 2012 – Three years ago his kidneys started to fail and flooded his body with toxins. ... Many of the victims were manual laborers or worked in sugar cane fields .... and Romina Ruiz-Goiriena in Guatemala City contributed to this report.

When I met Alain he sort of rushed in and instead of looking at our cacoa beans which we pioneered in Antigua although we were just out of cacao honey and  bars that day as well as our standard lightly roasted bitter chocolate for our customers to make their own favorite cacao honey fod or drink he focused on the coffee and said he should make a 'museo' or 'museum' for coffe too which I thought was a little presumptuous considering that a small finca surrounded by  the town of Jocotentengo that is almost part of Antigua has in fact a real museum of coffee called Azotea as well as a Mayan Music Museum.There as well as other places around here,like right out of town,one can see the coffee grow - but it DOESN'T grow in a 'museum' !
Funny that as a chocolate museum 'curator' ,(although he bills himself sometimes as a 'mime' and other times as a French 'engineer'),that he didn't appeciate that we were among the only or very few coffee roasters in the world that combined coffee roasting with cacao roasting.But even stranger because when we bagan roasting cacao and immediately combined honey in as the only sweetner,I searched the internet far and wide and did not find A SINGLE small chocolate bar maker nor large corporation making chocolate-honey bars.The only thing I ever came across was a chocolate confection  thing called 'Toblerone Swiss Milk Chocolate with Honey and Almond Nougat',which in fact is no natural cacao bar at all.Now only very recently did my search find a bar from a place call Zorba's in Ashland,Oregan that brags of local honey sweetened chocolate bar but they also add,'Organic coconut palm suger,as well as the non-carbohydrate sweetener stevia that 'tricks tate buds into sensing sugar and thus just a little would allow one to use VERY LITTLE honey and cut costs but not be a real honey cacao bar as we know it here at Tostaduria Antuigua.In fact with diabetics in mind,I have considered doing a strictly stevia bar although I still haven't tried it.I did find a source of processed stevia here though it may not be that economic in a specialty import store and I have wanted the leaves themselves  after reading that theevia plant actually absorbs Vitamin B-12 from decomposing soil microorganisms and organic matter although this assumes that B-12  is actually in the soil's organic matter to begin with.However we are still into our 100% honey formula and so far even pre-Colombian or Mayan stingless bee honey is available to diversify our honey repertoire.
So anyway as I stated above we are not into removing cocoa butter nor adding it or a cocoa butter substitute,just keeping the 52% or so that the Mayan gods or nature provided to the natural bean.So for that reason how to extract cocoa butter was and normally is the last thing on my mind but when I heard from the grapevine and then read on the internet about Ghiardelli's and the Choco Museo's supposed 'broma' cocoa butter extraction  method it did arouse my intellectuall curiousity and although not being an 'engineer' as Alain Schneider is,everything I read about it seemed like various dubious and in fact unsubstantiated claims and even stranger,while many 'talked' about it on the internet - no one claimed to sell 'broma cocoa' butter at any cost nor even to make a chocolate candy bar with it.
The biggest talker appears to be some strange fellows on a website called thechocolatelife who seem not to have a clue or any quantifiable experience but don't let that stop them from wild unsubtantiated
claims about the supposed Ghiardelli 'broma' process nonetheless.:

methodology of the broma process

am a college student in my final year and as part of the curricula for the program, i have to under take a research project, my topic is extraction of cocoa butter using the broma process. i am stuck at the methodology (chapter 3) . so i would like y'all who know how to carry out the extraction of cocoa butter using the broma process to tell me step by step how to use the broma process to extract cocoa butter. counting on your co operation . my email is thanks in advance.
Permalink Reply by Clay Gordon on November 28, 2009 at 1:43pm

With respect to your question about how warm the answer is the warmer the better. The higher the temperature the more fluid the fat in the chocolate liquor will be. If you have a cabinet or room where you can control the temperature I'd start about 115F to see how that works and then increase by 5F increments to see how that affects things.
With respect to the fineness of the mesh. I would line a burlap sack with 2 or more layers of cheesecloth. The burlap will provide strength, the cheesecloth will strain the butter through while keeping the larger particles from seeping  out.

Reply by Langdon Stevenson on March 12, 2009 at 7:16pm
Hi Lemm > someone mentioned that it was not possible to produce cocoa butter unless it was pressed at least 140 F (???) Yes it is possible. It is just less efficient (slower and lower recovery rate) the cooler the liquor is. I have pressed cocoa butter at body temperature. > If there's such a thing as "cold-pressed" cocoa butter, what temperature is considered "cold". Is it 115 F, 122 F,...etc. > Does the definition of "cold-pressed" oils when applied to olive oil apply to cocoa butter? No idea. In the cocoa industry, this is usually driven by people into "raw food", which I am not involved with. In the olive industry it's about not denaturing or harming the oil which is less stable that cocoa butter. Since olive oil is liquid at room temperature, the definition of "cold pressed" for olive oil is more logical. > And about the Broma process, which I understand is a dripping process in a warm room; at what temperature is this room? The hotter the better. Same rules apply as with a hydraulic press. The hotter the fat is, the more easily it flows and separates. Our experiments have shown that low temperatures (between 40 and 50 degrees C perhaps) will work with the broma technique, but the recovery rate is nothing like a hydraulic press or screw expeller can achieve (which is logical). > Are there really any additional health benefits to get cold-pressed cocoa butter versus the regular one. Not that I know of, but people into raw foods will have an opinion. What I would be worried about is the secondary processes (like deodorisation, or chemical extraction) and the chemicals that they involve rather than the temperature of the operation. I have samples of some pretty nasty cocoa butter that has been through deodorisation. Langdon ................................

facts about the broma process - The Chocolate Life
28 Nov 2009 – hello y'all on chocolate life. Am still working on the broma process and still have some problems i would like to share with you. I would like to ...

The broma process ebook for downloading - The Chocolate Life
29 Mar 2010 – hello members of chocolatelife, Am back again, sorry to take some of your time. Am really having a hard time with my broma process project.

4 Nov 2008 – As for "Raw" cacao powder, the Broma process uses less heat and ... You need to be a member of The Chocolate Life to add comments!
8 Nov 2009 – kenneth mensah's Page on The Chocolate Life. ... Am really having a hard time with my broma process project. AS part of my search online, ...

12 Mar 2009 – The Chocolate Life ... And about the Broma process, which I understand is a dripping process in a warm room; at what temperature is this room ... - Similar
"I make them by your 2nd process. Not sure what type of design you are ... Support TheChocolateLife by Taking Advantage of Special Member Offers: Support ...

And note that one of the biggest spammers of this 'broma' or' joke' in spanish,has been Chicago Mercantile pornography king,Jimbo Wales', Wikipedia.No surprise and although Wikipedia in english has removed the the original long winded lie and placed the disclaimer you can read below.However you can find the original tall tale about the Ghiardelli 'broma' cocoa-powder separtion 'process' by clicking the history

This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2011)
The Broma process is a method used to remove cocoa butter from cocoa mass, leaving cocoa solids (cocoa powder). In about 1865 someone at the Domingo ...
And this was one of the first Wikipedia posts re the unsubstantiated cocoa butter-powder separation process called the (hee hee) the 'broma process'.:
Broma process
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About 1865 Ghiradelli discovered that by hanging a bag of chocolate in a warm room, the cocoa butter will drip off, leaving behind a residue that can then be converted into ground chocolate. This technique, known as the Broma process is now the most common method for the production of chocolate
{{unreferenced|date=December 2011}}
The '''Broma process''' is a method used to remove [[cocoa butter]] from [[cocoa mass]], leaving [[cocoa solids]] (cocoa powder). In about 1865 someone at the [[Domingo Ghirardelli]] factory discovered that by hanging a bag of cocoa mass (ground cacao beans) in a warm room, the cocoa butter would drip off, leaving behind a residue that can then be processed into cocoa powder.
More cocoa butter (fat) is extracted by using the Broma process than using a [[hydraulic press]], and less fat remaining in the cocoa (powder) makes it easier to dissolve the cocoa into liquids. Broma process cocoa also has a more intense flavor than [[Dutch process chocolate|Dutch process]] cocoa, as no [[alkali]]s are added to the cocoa.{{what?|date=December 2011}}
== See also ==
* [[Dutch process chocolate]]
[[Category:Chocolate industry]]
[[es:Proceso Broma]]

Latest revision as of 13:06, 4 January 2012

The Broma process is a method used to remove cocoa butter from cocoa mass, leaving cocoa solids (cocoa powder). In about 1865 someone at the Domingo Ghirardelli factory discovered that by hanging a bag of cocoa mass (ground cacao beans) in a warm room, the cocoa butter would drip off, leaving behind a residue that can then be processed into cocoa powder.
More cocoa butter (fat) is extracted by using the Broma process than using a hydraulic press, and less fat remaining in the cocoa (powder) makes it easier to dissolve the cocoa into liquids. Broma process cocoa also has a more intense flavor than Dutch process cocoa, as no alkalis are added to the cocoa.[clarification needed]


    Chocolate industry
    ............................ Cached
    Clay Gordon, of, notes this, “… .... However, the Broma process is notoriously slow and inefficient, and some chocolatiers to whom I've ...
    (I'm afraid it's worse than that and it's less than slow and inneficient and NO cocoa butter is produced by any joke process called 'broma' - Tony Ryals)

    A google of the terms cacao butter cold process pounds square inch turns up this article among others that I have used as a template to discuss and compare our simple honey cacao bar process in relation to 'conventional' or commercial chocolate bar-sugar method.While Stephanie Zonis cites Clay Gordon, of,there is every reason to believe she must be sceptical of his and ChocoMuseo's Alain Schneider's and Ghiardelli's supposed 'broma process' to derive cocoa butter from cacao beans as well.- Tony Ryals)  )

    The Truth about "Raw" Chocolate

    There isn’t any. Let the angry e-mails commence!
    I don’t mean that there isn’t any chocolate that’s truly raw (although that may be the case, too); I mean that hard and fast truths about such a product are very difficult to come by. There’s almost as much misinformation about this subject as there has been about JFK’s assassination, and considering the brief length of time that “raw” chocolate has been around by comparison, that’s really saying something. First things first: at this writing, there are no legal standards for “raw” products, period. There is no independent, third party certification for “raw” products, period. There is no agreement, even within the raw food community, about the maximum permissible temperature for a food. 118 degrees F is a popular number, but I’ve also seen 116 degrees F, 104 degrees F, and at least three other candidates between 104 and 118 degrees F. With the lack of a legal definition or even consensus among raw fooders themselves on exactly what constitutes a “raw” food, anyone can tell you that their chocolate is “raw”, but that may or may not be true. In 2009, for instance, Essential Living Foods ( issued a statement announcing that they (and, by extension, their customers) had been duped. The supposedly “raw” cocoa and cocoa butter they’d been obtaining from Ecuador was nothing of the kind; it had been processed at temperatures exceeding 200 degrees F. ........(Here I interject to point out that exactly what the author,Stephanie Zonis says above about exactly what Zonis says above about a lack of a real clear definition for what ids raw food and more so regarding so-called 'raw chocolate applies directly to 'dark chocolate definitions as well. I have even seen a Hershey bar with milk products called 'dark chocolate' although most agree that dark chocolate is chocolate without any milk products whatsoever.I have also seen corpoate 'dark chocolate' that even contained hydrogenated fat rather than all cocoa butter and it would be quite common to have 'dark chocolate' that while not having either milk or processed cocoa butter substitutes,often contain 65% or so cocoa butter rather than the truly 'natural' cacao we make at the Tostaduria Antigua that in keeping with te Mayan gods and nature has only a bit over 50% but also no less just as nature intended a whole cocoa bean 'powder' to cocoa butter ratio to be.And that way no one gets confused and 'accidentally' eplaces real cocoa butter with a synthetic hydrogenated fat substitute.- Tony Ryals)

    The temperatures are important, because cacao seeds/beans on the way to becoming chocolate are typically put through several processes that involve heat. There’s fermentation, which rids the beans of some of their bitter and astringent flavors, and subsequent drying of the beans to remove excess moisture prior to storing, sorting, and shipping. Fermentation is carried out when the beans are still surrounded by the fruit pulp of the cocoa pod, and the process lasts for at least 48 hours (sometimes much longer, depending upon many factors). While the temperature of the fermenting mass can rise above 118 degrees F, this is not a given. Much depends on how the fermentation is done; the temperature of the drying beans, too, will vary considerably. Clay Gordon, of, notes this, “…It is actually easy to fully and completely ferment cacao (italics and bold type are Mr. Gordon’s) and keep the pile under 118F… The "trick" is to control the size of the pile. There are a number of fermentation boxes I have personally seen that make it possible to do this…It is somewhat harder to dry the beans and keep the temp under 118F ---if the beans are dried in direct sun, and especially if they are dried on a concrete pad. Temperatures can easily reach 140F ---at least at the surface of the pad. It is possible to dry beans at low temp, it just takes a lot more care, takes longer - and therefore costs more.”(Note that Mr.Clay Gordon who Stephanie Zonis quotes above is a 'self styled exprert' who exact experience or professional experise is never made clear on thechoclatelife website or anywhere else as for as I can tell and he is one of those chiefly responsible for spreading the unsubstantiated 'Ghiardelli broma process' legend.-Tony Ryals) Anyone familiar with the chocolate-making process knows that a critical part of the manufacture of conventional chocolate is roasting. The maker of Amano Chocolate, Art Pollard, states that roasting “is one of the most important steps in the process of developing chocolate flavor”. He adds that roasting temperatures begin at 210 degrees F. Tom Pedersen, of, tells me that roasting temperatures should be above 212 degrees F, in order to steam off moisture content; higher temperatures also enable caramelization and a process called the Maillard reaction that add flavor to the beans. So a “cold roast” process, that is to say, one under 118 degrees F, can’t exist. Not only that, but the lack of roasting doesn’t allow crucial flavor changes within the cocoa bean, so any “raw” chocolate won’t have the flavor profile associated with conventional chocolate. Since any genuinely raw chocolate must be made from beans that are not roasted (though they might be dried further at low temperatures), some people are concerned about pathogens in the unroasted beans, including Salmonella. quotes Dr. Keith Warriner, a food microbiologist at Canada’s University of Guelph: "Because chocolate is high in fat it protects Salmonella from environmental stress and stomach acid…if chocolate does become contaminated, Salmonella survives longer and only needs to be present in low numbers to survive passage through the stomach." Colin Gasko ( tells me that people wouldn’t want to eat raw chocolate if they saw the way cacao beans were treated in countries where they’re grown. He has seen beans stored outdoors, by the side of the road, or under other decidedly non-hygienic conditions, such as sharing an area with chickens, who walk over and/or defecate on them. Kristen Hard ( agrees. She’s visited Venezuela to source beans, and there are no sanitary regulations on farms where beans are initially processed and dried. Animals, she explains, are “out and about among the beans”. Ms. Hard points out that there are some lower-heat, or non-heat-dependent, methods that might help this situation, such as ultraviolet lights. Farmers that grow cacao are generally poor, though, so any technology of this type would likely have to be supplied by an outside source. I have not heard of any cacao farmers being supplied with non-heat-dependent means to reduce pathogens. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening, but if I were a supplier or client doing this, I’d use it as a selling point. Surely germ-phobe Americans (and we are germ-phobes) would want to know that their raw cacao beans had less risk of possible pathogen contamination than untreated beans? If cacao beans do become contaminated, even a thorough cleaning and winnowing of beans might not be sufficient to remove pathogens from them, something else that higher-heat roasting can accomplish. Not everyone shares these apprehensions; Samantha Madell ( is a chocolate maker in Australia who has done considerable research into this issue, and she has found no occurrences of raw chocolate causing salmonella poisoning. Her belief is that “chocolate products typically become dangerous when non-cocoa ingredients, such as egg and dairy products, are added to them”. And in fairness, it should be noted that cases of Salmonella poisoning have occurred in conventional chocolate. Post-processing testing for pathogens is important for all chocolate products, raw or conventional. There’s another process after roasting that can heat cacao beans to higher temperatures. Once the beans are freed of their outer shells, the bean pieces, or nibs, are crushed in mills that operate at high speed. The resulting paste-like mixture is cacao liquor or chocolate liquor (unsweetened chocolate, in layman’s terms, and, despite the name, it contains no alcohol). The friction in any high speed process will usually generate a good amount of heat; Tom Pedersen informs me that the grinding process generally raises cacao liquor temperatures upwards of 130 degrees F, and even higher temperatures have been mentioned by others who work with conventional chocolate. Samantha Madell believes that grinding nibs under 118 degrees F is entirely possible, but she says, “It’s easy to coarsely grind nibs at a low temperature…it’s also easy to grind small quantities of nibs, or to grind nibs for a short time, or to stone grind nibs slowly, or with expensive water-cooled equipment, at low temps.”..... (I would pretty much confer with the above opinion based upon our small grinder that is the only process we use after a light roast of about 15-25 minutes if our slow,(low temperature),coffee roaster is warmeed up when the beans are let in. The highest temperature is in the roasting that goes to around or a little over 212 degrees Farenheit or 100 degrees Centigrade.Our grinding is the only process to make so-called 'cacao liquor',we cetainly don't use use heavy 'stem roller milers described above which sound like something that was manufactured by some industrial armaments or munitions industrialists such as Krupps of Germany or Schneider Arms of France which in many ways inspiered the industrialization of cacao from the Dutch in 1825 to Hersheys and Nestles thereafter.-Tony Ryals) Jordan Schuster, of The Fearless Chocolate Company (, writes that Fearless uses “water jacketed ball mills” for nib grinding. Daniel Sklaar ( employs a small (65 pound) stone grinder for his admittedly small-scale business, but adds that there are several different machines capable of grinding at low temperature. John Nanci ( agrees, saying that standard (read: industrially-produced) chocolate is ground in a high speed mill. Nanci has been making his own non-raw chocolate on a small scale for years. For grinding, he employs a peanut grinder, and the end product emerges “at around 110 F”. (The peanut grinder above basically describes the grinder we had made here in Guatemala.And the teperature I guess of about 110 F is approximateley the same.This low temperature is perfect for not causing cacao solids or 'powder' from separating from the butter and so it is just about perfectly 'tempererd' as it comes out of the grinder and the relulting 'liquor' can simply be layed out for cooling and solidifying a few hours or overnight and then be ready for cutting and packing.-Tony Ryals) After the chocolate liquor is produced, most manufacturers will conche it. While there’s some debate about whether conching improves the flavor of the chocolate, the process unquestionably provides a smoother chocolate. Originally, chocolate was conched in long stone receptacles; the process was accomplished with stone balls and often took days. Modern manufacturing uses heavy rollers or rotary mixing blades, and chocolate may be conched for only a few hours or for up to several days. Bear in mind that the chocolate undergoing conching needs to be in liquid form. The question now becomes, is it possible to conch at temperatures under 118 degrees F? John Nanci sells devices called “melangers”, for conching small quantities of chocolate. His take on the situation? “I’ve heard of people using the melangers I sell to make raw chocolate by somehow keeping the temperature under 118 F, but personally I’ve never been able to do it.” (Now this is the process of the so-called 'chocolateers' that I cynically laugh about.We only stir the honey into our roasted and ground beans immediately after the grind ground to mix in the honeyas evenly as possible,which is to say almost no time at all.And if we don't add honey but only allow the so-called ill named 'liquor' to cool and set or harden then we don't do any stirring at all.Now below in the final part of Zoni's' article we get to the heart of the matter that caused me to write about cocao butter and powder separation process invented by the Dutch Houton father and son in 1825 and which I consider to be the real perversion of 'modern' chocolate makers.Had this not occured and chocolate bars had been invented at thatv time without the industrial press that applied all thousands of pounds of pressure to squeeze cacaobutter from cacao powder and vice versa then we would not be having this supposed or rumored Ghiardelli 'broma separation perocess debate right now !Also the Houtons would have had no powder to 'Dutch' or alkalanise - the very process that, unbeknownst to them at that time,that would convert the truly almost medicinal properties or flavenoids,etc., witin truly natural cocao beans to an almost bitter brw in terms of their nutrient rich former selves. -Tony Ryals) Again, after the chocolate liquor is produced, it’s sometimes separated into its components (cacao butter and cacao powder) via hydraulic press. These presses are serious business; according to Maricel E. Presilla’s The New Taste of Chocolate, they can exert a force of over six thousand pounds per square inch. As a rule, that amount of pressure results in a build-up of heat. How much heat? Samantha Madell comments that she and her partner have pressed cocoa liquor in hydraulic presses at temperatures under 118 degrees F, but that “the same limitations apply as with grinding: if it’s inefficient, or slow, or small scale, or on water-cooled equipment, it’s not too difficult.” Others I’ve talked to, all of whom work with conventional chocolate, don’t think that even slightly larger-scale hydraulic liquor pressing is possible under raw temperature restrictions. There are other ways to separate the components, including a screw expeller (Ms. Madell has had “quite a bit of experience” with screw expellers; she’s never checked the temperature on any she was working with, “but the output was definitely hot—I would guess considerably hotter than 118 F”). There’s also something called the Broma process. In this, ground cacao beans are bagged and hung in a warm room. In theory, the heat in the room causes the cocoa butter to melt and separate from the mass of ground beans. Cocoa butter melts at around normal human body temperature, so the Broma process wouldn’t violate any raw food restrictions. However, the Broma process is notoriously slow and inefficient, and some chocolatiers to whom I’ve spoken don’t think it works at all. While I haven’t checked in with everyone making bean-to-bar raw chocolate, I know of no one using this method. Even supposing that you can find cacao beans fermented and dried at a low temperature, kept constantly below the 118 degree F threshold, can you manufacture a truly raw chocolate product? That depends. You’ll want to sweeten whatever you’re creating, as unsweetened cocoa powder isn’t especially palatable. Now, as you might expect, chocolates labeled “raw” should not use refined sugar as a sweetener. Agave nectar is a popular choice these days, but is it raw? Well, maybe. Again, because there is no independent raw certification, because there are no legal standards, it’s difficult to be sure. I’ve seen claims that all agave nectar is processed at temperatures under 118 degrees F, and I’ve seen statements insisting that 140 degrees F is a much more common temperature for making nectar. Another chocolatier, who did not want to be mentioned here, raised another potential problem with agave nectar; it’s water-based. Chocolate, even raw chocolate, is fat-based. This means that chocolate sweetened with agave nectar would be extremely difficult to temper, although at least two bean-to-bar companies offer such a chocolate. If you don’t know about tempering, it’s a complex process, but one vital to most chocolate. Skillful tempering is what gives chocolate its shine, a good smooth texture, and that satisfying “snap” you get when you break a piece from a chocolate bar. Raw chocolate can also be sweetened with dried dates or coconut palm sugar. Are these raw? Coconut palm sugar is not, according to an article at (; incidentally, the author of this article asserts that agave nectar is not raw). Surely dried dates must be raw, then? Not necessarily. Some are, but some are sulphured or even soaked in sugar syrup. I’ve found a “raw” chocolate sweetened with maple syrup, a substance very far from being raw. This particular chocolate maker uses maple syrup for a number of reasons; among them are the syrup’s “superior flavor”, environmental sustainability, vegan-friendly nature, low glycemic index score, and their belief that it’s “nutrient-rich”. At least one “raw” chocolate is sweetened with rapadura, an unbleached and unrefined form of cane sugar. However, rapadura is not a raw product by any stretch of the imagination. Jordan Schuster, the manufacturer of this chocolate, has this to say about his choice of sweetener: “…we don’t consider rapadura to be a raw sugar. Our stated objective is to present raw cacao in the best, most delicious, most conscientious way possible. I use rapadura because it’s the least refined dry sugar on the market with the lowest sucrose content per gram...” I respect the beliefs of these manufacturers. And what they’re doing is perfectly within the letter of the law, given the lack of legal definitions and certification for raw foods in general. You must decide if it’s acceptable that “raw” chocolate may not contain all-raw ingredients. Let’s say you’ve done everything necessary. Say you’ve found low-temperature-fermented beans, unroasted, kept under 118 degrees F during all processing. You’ve found a raw sweetener that works for you. You’ve even found raw additional ingredients (Goji berries, coconut, etc.---always popular in chocolate products). You’ve got real raw chocolate, in whatever form you please (bar, truffle, etc.). My next question is this: why are you eating it? I don’t mean that in an accusatory way; I’m asking a question. If you tell me that you’re eating it because you love the way it tastes and it makes you happy, I will tell you to go in peace and enjoy your raw chocolate, and may it bring a smile to your lips and a song to your heart. However, if you inform me that you’re eating raw chocolate because it’s healthy for you, I’m going to have to take you out back to the (virtual) woodshed. I’ll start my explanation by saying that raw cacao powder, like cocoa powder made from roasted beans, does indeed contain a significant amount of some nutrients, if you consume enough of it. Both have a bit of protein and are a source of iron. You’ll also find other minerals present, such as zinc, copper, manganese, and phosphorus, along with more dietary fiber than you might expect. has a letter from David Wolfe, a big raw chocolate proponent, announcing that raw cocoa powder is “the richest food source of magnesium of any common food”. And then, of course, there are the antioxidants. A food’s antioxidants, you may know, are measured by its ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score. Conventionally-produced cocoa powder (made from roasted beans) has an ORAC score in the 80,000 to 82,000 range per 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces), according to the USDA ( Raw cocoa powder is not listed in the USDA table I found (which dates from late 2007). According to Mr. Wolfe, though, raw cocoa powder has an even more impressive ORAC score of 955 units per gram, or 95,500 units per 100 grams. Recognize that there are many different types of antioxidants, and not all are found in any one food. Then ask yourself this: how many antioxidant units do you require for optimum health in one day? Of what variety should they be? If you don’t know the answer to either question, that’s good, because you shouldn’t. Nobody does. Nobody knows anywhere near enough about antioxidants yet to be able to determine daily needs, or whether different antioxidants work on different parts of the body. And, as is the case with vitamins and minerals, more is not always better. Is consuming antioxidants in excess of the amount you need harmful? Once again, no one really knows. Now, according to a tin of cocoa I have, one tablespoon of conventional, unsweetened cocoa powder weighs about 5 grams. (One tablespoon is the amount I use to make a cup of hot cocoa.) You can’t eat twenty tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder (to make up 100 grams) within any reasonable length of time. By contrast, it’s entirely possible to eat 100 grams/3.5 ounces of, say, raw blackberries or raw blueberries at one sitting. Doing so provides more overall nutrition, far fewer calories, much less fat, one serving of your daily produce, and between 5200 and 6500 ORAC units of antioxidants, respectively, or slightly more than you’d get from that one tablespoon of raw cocoa powder. And there’s never a question as to whether those berries are really raw.
    What’s more, there is NOTHING magical about 118 degrees Fahrenheit, nor about 104 degrees F, nor about any temperature within that range. If you don’t understand the temperature guidelines in the raw food movement, they exist because of enzymes. Supposedly, raw food is healthier for you because it’s “living” food, containing active enzymes. Enzymes, which are composed of proteins, are essential to the regulation of metabolic activity. Raw fooders believe that heating foods above their chosen temperature denatures the enzymes and that the food is then “dead”. I don’t propose to start a conversation on the logic of such a diet here, but some interesting facts about enzymes are brought up in this article: Incidentally, Ms. Madell has also heard that raw food is “living”, but pronounces this claim “nonsense in relation to chocolate”, adding, “By the time they end up in a chocolate bar, cocoa beans (whether raw or not) are categorically dead.” It is true that heating enzymes beyond a certain temperature will denature them, stopping their activity. There is an article about temperature and enzymes here: The letter is from the manufacturer of a dehydrator and includes this passage: “…we spoke with Dr. John Whitaker who is a world recognized enzymologist, and former dean of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at U.C. Davis. He said that every enzyme is different and some are more stable at higher temperatures than others but that most enzymes will not become completely inactive until food temperatures exceed 140 to 158 F in a wet state.” Bear in mind that is a pro-raw food diet website. The site’s FAQ page proclaims that “In general, the act of heating food over 116 degrees F destroys enzymes in food.” Yet the letter from Excalibur refutes that statement. If you’re confused right about now, that makes two of us. Further, that same website declares, “…cooking a food changes the molecular structure of the food and renders it toxic”. I challenge anyone reading this to present me with even one large-scale, long-term study, scientifically carried out by a reputable research group or organization, conclusively demonstrating the toxicity of food heated above 116 degrees F. I quoted Clay Gordon earlier in this article talking about lower-temperature bean fermentation. He asserted that, while possible, it would take more time and more care, and therefore would cost more. That will hold true for all aspects of raw chocolate manufacture. It will cost more to ferment the beans, just as lower-temperature drying, conching, etc. will take longer (and hence cost more) than their conventional counterparts. Refined sugar is relatively cheap, but it isn’t used in raw chocolate, and the other sweeteners will likely be more expensive, as will additional ingredients. In a nutshell, raw chocolate is going to be pricey. I believe that some of this is because of the perception surrounding it. Think about organic food for a minute here. Yes, organic food does cost more to produce, but given the belief that it’s better for you, some sellers will charge more for it than costs would justify, and many consumers will continue to buy it because of a belief that it’s more nutritious and/or healthier for you. In my opinion, the same thing is happening with raw chocolate. Who doesn’t want to believe that the chocolate they love to eat is “healthy”, or at least better for you than a supermarket chocolate bar? One more thing to think about, and that’s the source of “raw” chocolate and cocoa powder. I’ve mentioned Tom Pedersen, head honcho of Cocoa Puro, in this article. His business is heavily dependent upon cacao beans. He’s done his research, and he’s quite knowledgeable. The regions where most cacao bean processing is done are not wealthy, and in-depth technical knowledge of bean processing can be hard to find. Tom points out that “…much of the cacao industry, particularly (in these countries) isn't set up to handle the finicky nature of raw food requirements. You're lucky to get well-fermented beans at all, much less fermented and dried within a specific low temperature range.” I wrote this article because I’m tired of the hyperbole and the exaggerated claims surrounding “raw” chocolate and “raw” cocoa powder. I’m weary of the insistence that a raw food diet is capable of miracles, like preventing the aging process. Nobody doubts that eating lots of raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables is a good idea, but chocolate and cocoa (raw or otherwise) are still dietary luxury items. And the concept that your food will be valueless or even toxic if it’s heated beyond 104 degrees or 116 degrees or 118 degrees is, frankly, fertilizer. I know that people are angry at the way large corporations produce and distribute our food. People are frightened and they feel powerless. With so many food recalls in recent years, and negative reports emerging frequently regarding what’s in the food we’ve eaten for years, it’s hard to blame anyone for that. But if the stereotypical American diet of overprocessed, high-sodium, high-fat, high-protein, high-sugar foods is one extreme, a raw food diet is simply the pendulum swinging to another extreme. Is that an improvement? I don’t think it is. I’ve come down pretty hard on raw chocolate producers here. I’ve communicated with a number of people involved in the production of raw chocolate for this article, all of whom were unstinting with their time and had no way of knowing whether I was going to praise or condemn what they make. The great majority of raw chocolate makers and raw chocolatiers are like the rest of us---they’re just trying to find a niche and scratch out a living for themselves. Those I’ve spoken to seem convinced that they’re doing something good for people, and they’re all hard-working folks. But if you take away nothing else from this article, understand that your “raw” chocolate is dependent entirely upon trusting someone else’s word that it’s genuinely raw. In turn, that someone else must depend upon their suppliers’ word that the products the supplier furnishes are really raw. Raw cacao beans, raw cocoa powder, and raw cocoa butter require exacting conditions and techniques. But these products are not grown/processed in the US, where such conditions and techniques can be met or acquired without excessive difficulty; they’re grown/processed in Third World countries. In a time when suppliers will be anxious to bring more and more “raw” cocoa products to market due to increasing demand, will those exacting conditions and techniques still be met and applied constantly and continuously? I don’t know. Does this mean there’s no real “raw” chocolate? The most interesting opinion I heard about this was from Daren Hayes (, a small-scale raw bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer. Hayes has made some of his own equipment and modified machines he’s bought. Stirs the Soul offers people a choice of three sweeteners. They grind their own beans and are in the process of acquiring equipment to do their own cocoa butter processing. When the 2009 Essential Living Foods story about “raw” cocoa products not really being raw broke, Stirs the Soul refused to sell bars made with that cocoa butter as raw, sustaining a heavy financial loss. So Mr. Hayes speaks about this subject with some authority, as far as I’m concerned. His way of looking at raw chocolate is that all bets are off---when it comes to industrial-scale production. He believes that raw chocolate production lends itself primarily to small business. My own belief is that there may indeed be some small businesses doing raw chocolate right. However, given the lack of legal definition and certification, there are no guarantees; those who eat these products must purchase and consume them on faith. Because of that, because of the health hype, and, last but not least, because I’ve never found any raw chocolate product I really enjoy, I have no recommendations for you. If you like the idea of supporting raw chocolate producers, ask a lot of questions before you buy, and keep trying products new to you. As usual, if you find something you love, e-mail me, and I’ll check it out. If you can intelligently refute anything I’ve written here, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Finally, I call upon the raw chocolate industry to set some standards for themselves. At the very least, this means getting a third-party certification system in place, though a legal definition might be required first. If nothing else, standards might reduce some of the confusion out there. And in this Age of Too Much Information, anything that can be done to lessen bewilderment can only help consumers in the long run. Special thanks: Tom Pedersen, Cocoa Puro, Samantha Madell, Tava, Colin Gasko, Rogue Chocolatier, Jael and Dan Rattigan, French Broad Chocolates, Jordan Schuster and Trevor Martin, The Fearless Chocolate Company, Kristen Hard and Caline Jarudi, Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Company, Daniel Sklaar, Fine & Raw Chocolate, John Nanci, Chocolate

    Stephanie ( has had a strong affinity for chocolate from a very early age. Family members claim that, as a child, she was able to hear chocolate being opened in the kitchen no matter where she was in the house. Stephanie was baking by the time she was 6 and ran a short-lived baking business out of her parents’ kitchen when she was in high school. She has a Master’s Degree in Foods from Virginia Tech but no formal training in cooking or baking. Consequently, she is a home cook, not a chef. Prior to beginning this column, she had written about chocolate for some 8 years. ........................................    Walking in the Wind - Traffic   You walk and talk and move around in circles Your friends telling you you are doing fine You can't see that snowball as it hurtles Through the shattered membranes of your mind If I could talk to you for just one minute Then you would know what it is I am getting at But there again your head's got nothing in it By the way you left without your hat I'm walking in the wind looking at the sky Hanging on a breeze and wondering why, why Your old man's headed for the final pay-off The joker that you got is fading too And all the sharks that come around for the rip-off Are gonna tear the flesh right off you The plastic princess hangs her head in wonder at the silver glittered boys Trying, trying to compete And all at once the room begins to thunder And all that's left is the stain on the sheet The prostitute is standing on the corner Suffering so much pain to stay alive She's so real, that life itself bows down before her She couldn't make that nine to five While the president is crying, crying in the White House The prime minister's really got the blues All the heads of state are busy playing cat & mouse 'Cause you can see none of them have ever paid their dues God knows why, why, why

    Procol Harum Shine on Brightly

     Traffic - Walking In The Wind

    1 comment:

    1. Hello Tony,

      I'm Clara-Isabel Dias, one of the partners of ChocoMuseo (the one you mention as Alain's girlfriend). I came across your post and was caught by surprise.
      How could I ever imagine that a piece of information like the "Broma Process" could annoy a chocolate specialist in such a magnitude?!

      So to start with, please excuse us if our museum signs lead to a misunderstanding of the process and of our activity.

      What we meant was: "The broma process enables you (us) to get some cacao butter out of the cacao licor".

      We had no use for cacao butter at the time the signs were designed (we didn't add cacao butter to our chocolate nor sold cacao butter itself) and we thought it would just be fun for people to see butter actually drain from the cacao mass! That's the point of our museum: Enable the general public to understand what is behind chocolate (history, production process, botany...) in an attractive manner. And by the way, you are right too, ChocoMuseo is not a museum in the common sense of "a collection of artifacts". But as for knowledge spreading and popularization, I believe ChocoMuseo does pretty well.

      So we'll update our signs so that no one can think we mass produce cacao butter and powder with the broma process!

      Now I have to say that your post was outrageously aggressive and offending. I wish you had come to us to talk about your concern directly. We could have made tries together to see how far the broma process could go; we could have learnt stuff from you; instead you call us liars and TripAdvisor cheaters, and even link us to an epidemic in Central America - Please!!

      Finally, like you, we try to produce the purest chocolate, I mean without additives. We banned lecithin, vanillin, vegetal oils, well, we basically banned everything except 2 ingredients: cacao and sugar! Maybe you'd like to know that one of our long term projects is to replace regular sugar by unrefined whole cane sugar (panela)? My point is, I'm sorry to see you just attack us without seeing we could actually share stuff.