When a confectionery maker creates a chocolate-coated nut dish, he/she follows a simple two-step process involving melting the chocolate in oil like coconut oil and mixing the chocolate with nuts. The heating is done till it has melted into a smooth glaze before taking the pot off the stove before it is cooled. Stirring is done with a small spoon until the chocolate is fully incorporated into the nuts.
The external appearance of the coated nuts is important and during manufacturing, some extra steps are necessary to manage this appearance and consistency.
First, kernels are hand-sorted so that halves and broken can be eliminated. This is due to two main reasons. One is for the consistent whole nut appearance that is preferred by the customer. Secondly, it makes sure that the chocolate-to-nut ratio is maintained for each coated nut.
Olam provides the confectionary maker with the oil-roasted nuts on which chocolate is coated. Here the oil-roasting is important. The kernel will have a protective layer of oil to protect it from the moisture content from the chocolate. If the moisture gets into the nut, it can badly affect the crunchiness level of the nut.
The chocolate is prepared by a three-step process of conching, sieving, and stabilizing. The conching is similar to the grinding process in conventional chocolate manufacturing. This also poses the quality risk of metal pieces from the conching equipment falling into the chocolate. So, an X-ray sorter is provided to remove such foreign material.
Coating the nuts in round tumblers with air blowers comes next. Here, the agreed ratio of nuts to chocolate is 30%:70%.
One big factor in the appearance of the coated nuts is the polished look on the surface of the coated nuts. This is achieved by spraying the coated nuts with Polishing agents. For this, round tumblers with a spraying system are used. The vendor uses Shellac branded polishing agents for this purpose.
For packaging, aluminum pouches are used which are preferred due to sturdiness and good resistance to dust, oxygen, chemical, moisture, etc. that can affect the quality of the coated nuts. Form cartons are used as secondary packaging. This is because of the importance of temperature control for products containing chocolate. Coated nuts are best stored in a dry and cool place 18-250C, RH <60. Higher temperatures can melt or soften the chocolate and lower temperature below 15 degrees can cause fat bloom that will affect external appearance significantly although the edibility will still be intact.
Check out our organic nuts and seeds here. These certifications are available on the product page under the certifications tab. Kindly reach out to us at US-EN-CustomerSupport@olamnet.com if you have any questions. Please note that only products labeled "organic" on olamnuts.com are certified organic.