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Dutch processing
May 30, 2007
4:30 am
deb
Calgary, Canada
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When cocoa is alkalyzed or dutch processed what is the exact procedure? I read all about the term but I have yet to find out how it is dutch processed. Can someone explain the whole process to me?
Thanks.

May 30, 2007
11:26 am
Sebastian
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Either the nibs or the liquor are exposed to an alkalizing solution (there's a number of solutions that are approved for use, see 21 CFR 163 for a list that's more or less accepted throughout the world). A number of variables are then controlled - temperature, time, oxygen levels, concentration of the alkalizing solution, etc until the desired color/flavor are achieved. sometimes a neutralizing solution is used at the end of the process.

May 30, 2007
2:12 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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For those of us less advanced in food chemistry, what could be in the alkalizing and neutralizing solutions?

May 30, 2007
7:09 pm
Sebastian
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most commonly used are sodium hydroxide (or potassium) and citric acid

May 30, 2007
9:15 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Any other substances? all completely harmless? How the difference in colour appears?

May 31, 2007
4:22 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Dutched cocoa looks much darker, often blackish or just very, very, very dark brown. Natural cocoa has a lighter, more "natural" color, more along the lines of reds and oranges.

May 31, 2007
1:02 pm
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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I also thought so, till I stumbled on info on huge range of possible colours as a result of dutching, including all the reds and orange tint one wishes. Seemed like with salmon - "whatever your order, Sir". Still looking for confirmation. Sebastian, whats lurking in there? ;)

May 31, 2007
6:20 pm
Sebastian
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Well, there's a lot of things going on. Playing around with the variables i mentioned earlier can produce a pretty large range of color - then there's the blending, where blend 1-4 different types of powders with one another to yield an almost infinate range of color variations (ok, so not infinate, but thousands). If you blend a heavily alkalized powder with a natural powder, you're gonna get something pretty unique..

July 5, 2007
8:43 am
Gracie
Chippenham, United Kingdom
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June 23, 2007
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Picking up on this again,(indulge me, I'm a newbie!) why is Dutching used at all...is it purely cosmetic (maybe to do with the public perception that a darker brown colour is bound to be more "chocolatey"?)or are there gustative advantages also? I noticed in some of the chocolate reviews, people mention a "Dutched" flavour, which they find unpleasant....what are the characteristics of Dutched as opposed to non-dutched?

Gracie

July 5, 2007
10:35 am
Chrissie
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
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I believe one of the reasons for using dutched cocoa is that it dissolves more readily in liquids. The dutching process also allows more cocoa butter to be extracted resulting in a lower fat powder, which probably contributes to it being more soluble.

July 5, 2007
10:35 am
ChemicalMachine
USA
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June 5, 2005
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quote:


Originally posted by Gracie

Picking up on this again,(indulge me, I'm a newbie!) why is Dutching used at all...is it purely cosmetic (maybe to do with the public perception that a darker brown colour is bound to be more "chocolatey"?)or are there gustative advantages also? I noticed in some of the chocolate reviews, people mention a "Dutched" flavour, which they find unpleasant....what are the characteristics of Dutched as opposed to non-dutched?

Gracie


Advantages that I know of are reduced astringency and increased water solubilty.

The dutched flavor is not necessarily bad, but the dutching process destroys some of the natural flavors and reduces complexity.

July 5, 2007
12:10 pm
Sebastian
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it's done purely to alter flavor and color.

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