The company filed a patent for a method that uses a ‘chocolate dough’ to create a heat stable chocolate without additives or a waxy, dry texture.
“Chocolate confections made in accordance with exemplary embodiments exhibit good heat stability and under such conditions are capable of retaining their shape and can be picked up without leaving a significant chocolaty residue on surfaces they touch, as is associated with the mess left when chocolate melts that is made by traditional methods.”
Cocoa butter has a melting temperature of 29-35°C, which means chocolate cannot always be transported, stored or enjoyed in the summer or in tropical climates.
The Hershey method
Under Hershey’s process, sucrose, non-fat dry milk, cocoa liquor and cocoa butter are withheld from the intital production stages and are milled to a fine particle size before being conched for one hour at 50°C. Then cocoa butter and butter and anhydrous milk fat are added to create a chocolate stream.
Next, the chocolate stream is pulverized in a jet mill with a sugar and cocoa powder mix as well as cocoa butter seed at a temperate of around 30°C. The dough is kneaded until the cocoa butter seeds are evenly distributed, which typically takes five to 10 mins. The dough is then used to form small bars.
32.2°C and up
“Chocolate confections made in accordance with exemplary embodiments have a shelf life of at least six months, even at temperatures of 32.2° C or above,” said Hershey.
The patent application added that chocolate made through this method had a smooth, non-grainy texture, with a mouthfeel and taste comparable to chocolate.
Hershey claimed its method topped other attempts to create heat stable chocolate such as using water-oil emulsions or adding ingredients.
“Chocolate products made using these kinds of additional ingredients generally have a dry, crumbly texture that is undesirable and also suffer from flavor deterioration over a shorter shelf life as a result of the high moisture content. In still other cases, high melting fats have been used, but chocolate confections having these kinds of fats are also disfavored because they tend to have a negative, waxy eating quality,” said the firm.
Mondelēz, Mars and Cadbury methods
In 2012, Mondelēz International-owned Cadbury filed a patent for a chocolate that could tolerate hot climates by re-refining the chocolate after the conching step.
Last year, Nestlé’s R&D subsidiary Nestec developed its version by adding little or no sugar or polyols to the chocolate core and instead adding the humectant liquids to a “tropicalized shell” for the product.
Also, earlier this year, Mars filed a patent for a heat tolerant chocolate that involved adding a polyol - preferably glycerin - and a thermal structuring component such as a monosaccharide like dextrose to the formulation.
Source: WIPO Publication No. WO/2014/152491
Published: September 25, 2014 Filed: March 14, 2014
“Method of making a heat stablechocolate confectionery product”
Inventors: Hershey - Xiaoying Wang, Brian Baker, David Worthing, Maria Perez Gonzalez and Gagan Mongia