Safeguarding the sensory quality of milk chocolate

RESEARCH PROJECT

close up shot of a chocolate splash
© iStock.com/happyfoto

Milk powder, conching process, and storage conditions influence the sensory properties of chocolate products

The sensory quality of milk chocolate is affected by various parameters. In particular, conching parameters such as temperature control, processing time, and moisture content and also the choice of milk powder, whose quality is determined by the drying process, the fat content, and the state of the lactose, can have an effect on the taste and consistency of the chocolate. Another factor affecting the sensory quality of chocolate is the storage. In the production environment the chocolate is stored in liquid form in tanks. The chocolate mass always partly or fully solidifies here, adversely affecting its quality or making further processing impossible.

Retention of the fresh milk taste of chocolate

The objective of the research project is to investigate and compare various raw materials and conching parameters for chocolate production and also the storage conditions. The findings will safeguard the sensory quality of the chocolate. A particular focus is retention of the fresh milk taste of chocolate.

Characterization of milk powder and the conching process

The Fraunhofer IVV is characterizing different milk powders and is using GC-IMS to identify the key substances responsible for the odor of milk chocolate. Different chocolate variants are being manufactured by varying the conching conditions, for example the temperature, time, air feed, and energy input. The physical properties of the different products are also being measured and the sensory impressions are being evaluated by a trained sensory panel.

Research to support SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular will benefit from this research work. The customized use of particular milk powders, manufacturing processes, and storage conditions should allow the development of special products with unique features. The uniqueness and high quality of their products will give companies an edge over the competition and enable them to become established in the marketplace.

Project term: 2020 to 2022
Funding programme: Programme for promoting the Industrial Collective Research (IGF)
Project management
/project funding:
Federation of Industrial Research Associations AiF (via the Industrievereinigung für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Verpackung e. V. (IVLV))
/Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)