Monday, October 06, 2008

Modern History of Chocolate Milk

The cocoa tree is an unusual tree, with its cultivation confined to limited areas and climatic conditions. The processing required both in the areas where it is cultivated and in the factory is a complex example of human persistence and ingenuity. 

Several developments have been responsible for progress in the industry, as the chocolate products as originally prepared by the natives of Central America would hardly be acceptable today. Until early 1800s the only product was a very fatty chocolate drink prepared from the whole cocoa beans, sugar, and spices. 

In 1828, Van Houten of Holland invented the cocoa press, which removed a part of the cocoa fat from the bean, resulting in a powder with about 23% fat. This made the drink easier to prepare and digest. At the same time, the natural fat, cocoa butter, was released, making it possible to produce a fluid chocolate that could be molded and also used to cover other confectionary products. In England, during the 1840s, Fry and later Cadbury, made chocolate bar. 

 Another major development was the invention of milk chocolate by Daniel Peters of Switzerland in 1876. The ground cocoa nib (the bean cotyledon) was processed with the sugar and milk solids and the result was a product that today is the mainstay of the chocolate industry.

Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate was developed in the early 1900s and similar products by many other manufacturer followed. Since that time, the popularity of milk chocolate has increased astronomically and with the development of mass production molding machines that have help to reduce its manufacturing cost, it is now available to almost everyone.

In the United Sates, Hershey and chocolate are synonymous. Hershey established the Hershey Chocolate Company around 1900, after selling his caramel manufacturing business. After much experimenting, he developed his own method for making milk chocolate and factory was built in the rich Pennsylvania countryside where there were plentiful of fresh milk. 

The Swiss have also had a close association with the chocolate. Many of the early Swiss names cited there are still associated with chocolate products. Henri Nestlé (1814-1890) came into the chocolate industry later and was more concerned with the milk processing. Without Nestlé’s development of condensed milk, Daniel Peters would not have invented milk chocolate. 
Modern History of Chocolate Milk

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