Everything You Need to Know About the Chocolate Conching Machine

If you have ever wondered how your favorite chocolate bar achieves its smooth texture and rich flavor, then you are not alone. There’s actually a secret ingredient responsible for this, and no, it isn’t just the finest cocoa beans, but a crucial step in the chocolate-making process called conching. 

In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about the chocolate conching machine such as its functions, components, how it works, how it impacts the taste of your chocolate and the various factors that influence the final chocolate product.

Understanding Chocolate Conching Machines

As we have already hinted to you, the chocolate conching machines are the unsung heroes of chocolate production. However, what exactly are they and how are they different from other machines such as the refining machines? This section explores the basics.

What is a Chocolate Conching Machine?

It’s impossible to make chocolate if you don’t have a conching machine. The tool’s job is simple, honestly – to take the chocolate mixture and refine it into the right flavor and texture.

Are Chocolate Conching Machines the Same as Chocolate Refining Machines?

For most people, mixing up chocolate conching and refining machines kind of comes easy. But, even though they look quite similar, these machines are a world apart. 

For one, refining machines focus on reducing the particle size for cocoa and sugar nibs, thus helping you to make that smooth chocolate liquor. On the flip side, conching machines take this refined liquor and put it through an additional refining process, removing rough particles and evaporating any excess moisture. Working together, the two of them create the perfect mouthfeel for your chocolate products that you’ll love. 

Can Conching and Refining be Done in One Machine?

Right now, manufacturers are trying to know if it’s possible to combine these processes and use the same machine to handle them. And, the answer is that this is very possible. The “conche-refiner” is a machine that can help with this, combining both the conching and refining steps into a singular workflow. 

With the conche-refiner machine, you combine both steps into one, improving operational efficiency and significantly cutting down on the processing time. At the same time, you get to streamline the production process and achieve a more consistent flavor profile overall. 

Typically, the process starts with refining. Here, you reduce the size of the cocoa mass and sugar particles, ensuring that the texture you get is smooth and consistent. By passing ingredients through different grinding stages, you can get this done. From there, you move to the conching process, where air enters the chocolate mass for an extended time and you’re able to develop the right viscosity, texture, and flavor. 

How Does Chocolate Conching Affect Flavor?

Conching is really just one of the many steps in the process of making chocolate. And as you can imagine, a lot of manufacturers have asked if this process is so necessary and what it does to the flavor of the chocolate product. Well, here are some critical things you would need to know: 

Conching Builds Flavor: First, conching helps in the evaporation of volatile compounds that lead to unpleasant tastes, while intensifying desirable taste profiles too. 

Improving Aroma: Unlike things like almond milk, chocolate needs to have that solid smell. And, the conching process actually helps to release the aroma compounds in cocoa solids, thus improving the smell of the entire product.  

The Right Texture: You can also thank the conching step for the texture you get from chocolate. By refining its particles, conching leads to a creamier and smoother texture across the board for your chocolate product. 

Balancing Your Flavor: Finally, we should also mention that conching helps to harmonize several of the flavor components in chocolate – from fruity notes to acidity and even sweetness. So, you get a properly-rounded flavor profile at the end of it all. 

The Essential Features of a Conching Machine and their Functions

Today, conching machines come in different shapes and sizes. But, even with these variations, there are specific features that tend to be the same across the board. A few of those include: 

  • A stainless steel build, which ensures that the machine is food-grade
  • A natural granite material, which cuts down on wear and tear and improves performance
  • A PLC and HMI-enabled control panel, which ensures that you can control every aspect of the conching process. 
  • An automatic motor, enabling seamless belt management and allowing you to easily maintain the machine where necessary. 
  • Temperature control mechanisms that help you adjust the temperature precisely for the right flavor development 
  • Side-mounted motors, which ensure that the machine works in a stable manner

How Exactly Does Conching Work? 

When you try to explain the conching process, it might seem a bit difficult – especially to someone who might not be familiar with chocolates. So, here’s a simple breakdown of the process: 

  1. Start By Preparing Things: Generally, you want to ensure that every part of the machine is working as it should. Heat the chocolate mass with an electric heater, achieving about 35°C in temperature. 
  2. Feed The Tool: Next, you place the materials and feed them into the machine. Remember to set the right conching settings in the control panel, so you know what you’re working with. The materials are released into the equipment from the hopper to start the operation.
  3. Conching Process: This is the main stage where the chocolate undergoes the following operations.
  4. Loading: First, carefully load the machine’s jacketed body with the chocolate mass. In order to get the ideal end chocolate product, you should utilize the proper components in the right amounts.
  5. Heating and Mixing: Immediately turn on the machine and run hot water through the jacketed body until it reaches the desired temperature. Initiate a continuous mixing operation to guarantee that the chocolate mass is dispersed uniformly throughout the conching chamber.
  6. Grinding and Refining: Next, be sure to break down the cocoa particles using the conching chamber’s grinding components or mixing arms. This makes them smaller and helps the chocolate have a smoother texture in the end.
  7. Optional Aeration: If necessary, introduce air bubbles to the chocolate mixture. This simply eliminates excess moisture and volatile acids while boosting the chocolate’s flavor and scent.
  8. Extended Mixing and Development: To improve the texture, enhance the flavor profile, and eliminate undesirable components, mix the ingredients for several hours or days. As a result, the chocolate becomes smoother and tastes better.
  9. Discharging: Remove the transformed chocolate from the machine to complete the process. You should then get the refined chocolate ready for tempering, shaping, and consumption.

What Are the Products You Can Manufacture with a Conching Machine?

One of the major benefits of chocolate conching machines is that they are not limited to just one product. In fact, with these machines, you enjoy considerable versatility when it comes to the products you can make, with some of those including the following:

  • Chocolate (dark, milk, white) 
  • Chocolate for enrobing 
  • Liquid chocolate 
  • Compounds and couverture 
  • Fillings and pastes 
  • Truffles, pralines and other treats

Installation and Maintenance of the Chocolate Conching Machine

Now, if you have decided on getting a chocolate conching machine, we would recommend that you take your time to understand how best to install them, so you can get proper value for your money. 

With that in mind, here are a few things you need to know:

Guidelines for Proper Installation 

  • To start with, we would recommend that you stay at least one meter away from the tool
  • Also, make sure there is enough ventilation so the equipment doesn’t overheat
  • Then, you need to make sure the environment is right – particularly, the machine needs to be placed on a flat, reinforced concrete floor that is at least 230mm thick
  • If you are installing the machine somewhere that’s upstairs, then make sure the floor can hold over 2000 kg/m² in weight density
  • You might need to get anti-vibration cushions to reduce noise and dampen some of the machine’s vibrations 
  • In terms of electricals, make sure to get the necessary carrying equipment and ensure that you have a 3-phase power supply available

What Recommended Cycle Time is Required for Optimal Results?

We can’t actually provide a straightforward answer to this. In most cases, parameters such as raw material quality, machine type, and even the desired fineness will determine the cycle time. But, feel free to reach out to your manufacturer if you’d like additional clarity on this front. 

How to Effectively Clean the Conching Machine

Once you are done using your machine, it’s important to have it cleaned – after all, this is a piece of machinery that helps to make chocolate; something that people eat. So, when it comes to cleaning, keep the following in mind: 

  • Before cleaning, disconnect the machine from its power supply permanently
  • Only use clean, warm water for cleaning – you can pair it with a soft cloth too
  • Don’t clean any areas that don’t have paint – this way, you prevent corrosion
  • Once you’re done cleaning, dry the machine thoroughly 

Factors to Consider in Choosing the Right Conching Machine 

At this point, we understand that the concept of getting a chocolate conching machine looks pretty attractive. But, how do you know which one to choose? Well, here are a few tips that can help make that process easier: 

Consider the Batch Size 

First, you want to look into the batch size. Basically, this is the amount of product that the conching machine can process at a go. 

This metric varies between machines, with commercial products offering between 20 kg and 5000 kg. Whatever it is you choose, make sure its batch size is enough for you. 

How Much Do You Have? 

Of course, the money question always comes in. When it comes to cost, you need to consider things like the level of automation, production capacity, and the materials used in constructing the machine. Customization levels will also vary, and they factor into the amount of money you have to pay as well. 

What Are the Advantages of a Chocolate Conching Machine?

Altogether, equipment and machinery will play a huge part in ensuring that everything you do is solid and effective. And if you are making chocolate products, then here are a few major reasons why you would absolutely want to make use of chocolate conching machines:

  • Their Design Is Sleek: A standard chocolate conching device won’t need so much floor space. So, you won’t need to bother much about space availability. 
  • They Don’t Consume Much Energy: With their efficient design, chocolate conching machines help to reduce your consumption of energy – and cut down on your utility bills.
  • You Can Cut Down On Moisture: These machines allow you to achieve as low as 0.3 % in moisture levels. So, your product can be of the highest quality. 
  • Taking Out Volatile Compounds: By effectively vaporizing undesirable compounds, the machines also help to improve the smell and taste of your chocolate products. 
  • They’re Good For Your Pocket: Considering the fact that they offer several features and can help to produce several chocolate products, these machines actually help you save a lot of money.

Final Words

At this point, it will be almost impossible to have chocolate products without the chocolate mixing machines. Without them, how would the chocolate components be mixed? 

At Sainty Tec, we understand just how important these machines are, especially when you need to meet some really stringent production requirements. Talk to us today, and let’s find out how we can meet those equipment needs.

  • plane

    Do You have Any Question about Pharmaceutical Machine?

    Order or no order, I'm always happy to make friends and provide Free consultant for you

    Any question about any machine in your factory, i will always try my best to solve your problem with 15 years Experience!

Scroll to Top