How's chocolate made?
After the pods are harvested, they are opened and the raw cocoa beans are laid out to ferment. As the beans ferment, they deepen in color and develop complex flavors. Once fermentation is completed, the beans are dried, packaged and shipped around the world. Upon reaching a manufacturing facility, the cocoa beans are roasted to deepen their flavor and color. The roasting process also helps break down the shell of the bean, which is then removed with a process called winnowing.
Winnowing is a technique that separates the thin and brittle shell from the heavier, meatier cocoa nib using blown air and metal sieves of various sizes. The cocoa nibs can then be sold in specialty stores, but most are ground down to a cocoa liquor comprised of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. The liquor can then be blended with ingredients like sugar and milk, and often emulsifying agents like soy lecithin are added.