The Truth Behind Raw Chocolate

What is raw chocolate?

Santa Barbara Chocolate offers the best wholesale chocolates online. We strive to keep our chocolate as raw as possible by minimally processing cacao at the lowest possible temperatures by and keeping cocoa grind times to a minimum. As a source of premium chocolate products, we believe an important aspect of serving you is providing you up-to-date chocolate news and chocolate education. With that in mind, below is a wonderful article about raw chocolate written by the master chocolatier at Santa Barbara Chocolate Company.

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The Truth Behind Raw Chocolate

There’s been plenty of buzz around the health consumer world of raw chocolate. With the population taking more notice of the term ‘you are what you eat’ it seems everybody is opting for the fresh, the organic and the raw. This in itself is great news! We should pay attention to what we put into our bodies and we all know processed foods, additives, excess salts and sugars and flavorings can wreak havoc on our health. 

Raw Food to Boost the Body

At Santa Barbara Chocolate we fully support and encourage our customers to look after their health and there’s no doubt about it, raw foodism is a wonderful step forward. Fresh crunchy vegetables, sweet bursting fruits and beautiful rich whole grains will boost your immune system and fill you full of the vitamins and minerals your body craves.

A Business Built on Honesty

However at Santa Barbara Chocolate we build our business ethic on honesty and integrity and don’t believe in capitalizing off deceptive trends. This is why we are unveiling the myth behind raw chocolate. Raw chocolate is an oxymoron as the cacao bean has to be processed from its raw form to turn it into that gooey, scrumptious product we know so well. All chocolate has to go through this process to turn it from a bitter raw bean to a finished edible and delicious piece of chocolate. In short raw chocolate doesn’t really exist, it is a consumer model put forth by companies to incite health conscious people to buy their product. 

Chocolate is Only Raw on the Tree

To be considered raw, the food has to be cooked at a temperature lower than 115°F. In the long and loving process of turning the humble cacao bean into a scrumptious piece of chocolate, the cacao bean has to be plucked from the tropical Amazonian tree tops, fermented to bring out the natural flavors at temperatures exceeding 125°F, before being shipped in large containers across the waters. As the fermenting process raises the chocolate above the temperature of raw food – the product can no longer be considered raw. After these steps the beans are then roasted at high temperatures (212-300°F) and then ground down, mixed and tempered to refine the bean and turn it into delectable, traditional chocolate form. 
The only time the cacao bean is considered a raw food is when it is inside a cocoa pod that is shyly hanging from a tree, and at this stage the bean is far from edible. 

How Close to the Real Thing Can you Get?

At Santa Barbara Chocolate we salute healthy eating as we believe it goes hand in hand with the sweet Californian lifestyle we love so much, we cannot call our chocolate raw because raw chocolate simply doesn’t exist, it is a misconception. However our chocolate is as close to the real thing as chocolate can possibly get. We want our chocolate consumers to experience only the best, unrefined taste when it comes to chocolate which is why we don’t mess with the flavors of the cacao bean. Over ripened and over fermented beans can dull the taste of pure cacao essence, which is why we always pick our beans at exactly the right time, ferment it to perfection and take every care to ensure it is roasted until every last flavor is ignited. What can we say, we love our beans!

True Unadulterated Chocolate

For those chefs and chocolate lovers wanting to taste true chocolate in its purest form Santa Barbara Chocolate offers Pure Cacao Liquor. This heady dark form of chocolate is as close to the real thing as you can hope to find. Utterly unadulterated, pure, simple and sweet – Santa Barbara Chocolate is the mark of true chocolate connoisseurs.

The Law and Raw Chocolate - This is where the truth about Raw Chocolate is found.

All American food companies are required to follow FDA and USDA law. Any company that sells chocolate in the USA must follow the law.  Santa Barbara Chocolate follows the FDA and USDA guidelines and law for safety regulation. Food safety is the highest priority.

This is the law for cocoa bean processing: You are not required to implement a preventive control for an identified hazard if any of the following circumstances apply (21 CFR 117.136): (1) You determine and document that the type of food (e.g., raw agricultural commodities such as cocoa beans, coffee beans, and grains) could not be consumed without application of an appropriate control. (For example, cocoa beans must be roasted to make cocoa products, and to achieve the desired characteristics of the beans the roasting process will achieve an adequate time and temperature that controls the hazard of Salmonella associated with the raw cocoa beans).

Source: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/UCM526507.pdf

Any company not following these laws will be breaking Federal law and is subject to closure.

(2) For the purposes of paragraphs (g)(3) and (h)(3) of this section, the following terms describe the foods associated with the activity/food combinations. Several foods that are fruits or vegetables are separately considered for the purposes of these activity/food combinations (i.e., coffee beans, cocoa beans, fresh herbs, peanuts, sugarcane, sugar beets, tree nuts, seeds for direct consumption) to appropriately address specific hazards associated with these foods and/or processing activities conducted on these foods.

Source: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=117&showFR=1&subpartNode=21:2.0.1.1.16.1

Roasting: However, if the expected initial microbial load is low, a less severe thermal process may be adequate. For cooking processes that target pathogenic sporeformers such as C. botulinum type E and non-proteolytic types B and F (i.e., 194°F (90o C)) for 10 min), generally a 6D reduction in the level of contamination is suitable.

Source: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/UCM517399.pdf