Need help with my writing homework on From Cocoa Bean to Chocolate Bar. Write a 1250 word paper answering; This paper aims at discussing how chocolate bars are usually made from cocoa beans.
Cocoa trees usually grow to about 12 to 15 meters high and usually take a period of between 3 to 4 years before the first flowers are seen. Each tree usually produces around 10, 000 blossoms of which only about twenty are pollinated to form cocoa pods. Each pod usually has forty seeds which eventually mature into cocoa beans (Liberman, 2011). Most species of the cocoa plant have the ability to produce two crops annually. It takes a period of 5 to 6 months after pollination takes place for a pod to be ready for harvesting.
Harvesting is a very important part of the whole process. Overripe cocoa pods are usually vulnerable to diseases and pests. Some of the seeds might even start germinating inside the pods. After the harvesting of cocoa beans, there is a two-step process that usually follows. The two steps involved in this case are fermenting and drying the beans. During the fermentation stage, the seeds are heaped on plantain leaves then wrapped inside the leaves. After wrapping the beans, they are supposed to be exposed to heat for a period of between 5 to 8 days in order for them to ferment. Fermentation takes place when the pulps which usually surround the cocoa beans are converted into alcohol thanks to the yeast found in the air and the heat produced by the heap. During the process of fermentation, the beans are supposed to be mixed slowly to introduce oxygen into the heap. The oxygen helps in turning alcohol into acetic and lactic acid (Belitz, Grosch & Schieberle, 2009). The liquid form of the pulp is usually drained from the heap, leaving the organic compounds of the beans to develop a new color and flavor that people usually associate with chocolate. After the fermentation process is over the temperature inside the heap is usually increased.