Chocolate Bars

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How they make Chocolate Bars

In this instalment – a blend of crispy coconut and chocolate as we go into the Beacon factory in Durban for a look at the production of TV Bar.

Hi there, today we’re in Mobeni, just south of Durban for a look at chocolate bar manufacture. Beacon’s TV Bar is the star of the show, so let’s get straight to it.

TV Bar has two quite different parts, a crisp and crunchy centre and a chocolate coating on the outside. The basic ingredients for the centre of the bar are rice krispies, roasted coconut and cocoa powder.

These ingredients are mixed together by hand according to the recipe on a bulking table and poured into drums. The drums move to a continuous mixer and the mix is poured into a hopper. The ingredients filter into the machine as they are needed and are blended with a cocoa based binder to form a gooey chocolate based mix of ingredients.

The mix (runs) travels up a conveyor belt and is deposited into an extruder machine.

The sheet of extruded material is soft and pliable and is quite thick and uneven as it moves along the conveyor.

So it passes through a second rolling process where it is put under pressure and compressed to the thickness of the inside of a TV Bar.

The sheet passes through a cooling process in the first of a series of cooling tunnels. At each stage of production the product needs to be at a specific state of hardness. The cooler will cause the binder (will cause the material) to solidify as it cools, so that it will reach the required hardness machining.

Chocolate will become solid at around 32 degrees centigrade.

The edges are trimmed from the sheet and recycled into the next batch of mix.

The sheet passes through a slitting, separating and guillotine station, where the bars are slit by a series of knives and cut by a guillotine to the correct width and length. A special conveyor belt separates each bar as it moves toward the enrobing station.

Chocolate is made by kneeding and working a mixture of cocoa and milk powder with powdered milk and cocoa butter (oils) at about 75 degrees Celsius in a conch machine . The constant movement at high temperatures cause the mixture to become liquid chocolate.

In the enrobing machine each bar passes through a curtain of molten chocolate, receiving a thin covering in the first of two enrobing processes.  As long as the temperature is kept above 32 degrees centigrade, the chocolate will be kept in liquid form. Below 32 degrees the chocolate will begin to solidify.

A vibration machine removes excess chocolate. The bars are cooled to harden the chocolate coating and pass through a second enrobing machine where they receive a final coating to bring the outside chocolate layer to the correct thickness.

The complete bars pass through a final cooling process in which they’ll spend about 12 minutes travelling through a long cooling tunnel at 12 degrees Celsius.

As they emerge from the cooling tunnel the chocolate has solidified and the finished bars move to the wrapping stations.

Pre-printed rolls of wrapping material are loaded into the machine. Each bar is sealed in a wrapper, cut to size and separated. This machine can wrap thousands of bars per hour.

TV Bar also comes in a white chocolate (covering) coating. White chocolate is white in colour, because there’s no cocoa in the mix. The outer layer is made from cocoa butter, milk powder and sugar which is mixed together to produce the white coating. Well, you’ve seen it all, I’m going to sample these, see you next time.