Determination of water content in chocolates as well as their raw materials and technological influences of water on chocolate production

Workgroup: Chocolate technology

Research Partner and Scientific Guidance:

  1. Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV Freising, Yvonne Guckenbiehl

Financing: IVLV e. V.
Duration: 2022

During the production, processing, and storage of chocolate masses, problems related to the water content occur regularly. Investigations at the Fraunhofer IVV showed that even one to two percent of water have rheological, chemical and physical effects. Probably the best-known example is the thickening of milk chocolate in the tank due to amorphous lactose. Amorphous lactose temporarily stores water from the mass or the ambient air due to its hygroscopicity and releases it again after recrystallization. Water is brought into the chocolates primarily by the raw materials. Up to now, it is analytically difficult to measure. Using the standardized water determination according to Karl Fischer, for example, it is not possible to detect all the water in both the milk powder itself and the milk powder present in the milk chocolate mass. Therefore, significantly longer extraction times are necessary for the analysis of milk chocolates or milk powders. In addition, alternative ingredients such as plant fibers or sugar substitutes also play an increasingly important role from a health perspective. However, these additives can affect the flow behavior in connection with the water content contained in the formulation. In addition, sugar substitutes, such as sugar alcohols, are much more hygroscopic than sucrose and can cause clumping, particularly during production under high humidity. This research project will compare, customize and establish different analytical methods for determining the exact water content in chocolate raw materials, semi-finished products and chocolates. On this improved basis, the influence of water will be studied in conching experiments. The influence of ambient moisture during roll-refining and conching as well as varying raw materials will be monitored and examined in more detail.