Hibiscus chocolate is a gluten-free product that is topped with natural hibiscus cream frosting. This chocolate is tender and light with a layer of a rich darn and moist crumb ganache notes balanced with a tart of hibiscus cream topping. The paper explores the process of making this chocolate, ingredients, nutrients, packaging, storage, and other significant steps involved. These steps are explained sequentially.
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Hibiscus chocolate has hibiscus curd and is associated with the Middle Eastern region. This chocolate has a tartness that might make a customer salivate. The product is made of pomegranate almond flour (adds sweetness and brightness), sumac (adds taste), sour plums (adds sourness flavor), squeezed lemon (adds taste), and hibiscus (vitamin C, antioxidants, and minerals in addition to flavor). Over the years, hibiscus has been part of the Latin American, Caribbean, Asian, West African, North African, and Middle Eastern cuisines (Ariyo 2017). Hibiscus can be consumed in the form of eaten savory and sweet dishes and drank or steeped as tea. In this case, hibiscus will be used to make double chocolate crowned with a thick layer of hibiscus curb. The chocolate also has extra hibiscus curb on each side and dotted with raw hibiscus on its top. The hibiscus chocolate is more or less similar to the chocolate cranberry and raspberry.
Market and Background Information
The hibiscus chocolate is a product that can be consumed by any household, eateries, hotels, institutions, and any other gathering of people who wants to eat chocolate. The product has a pink appearance and a favorite for a birthday, wedding, and other celebratory gatherings. This chocolate is unique because of its crisp nature and sweet-sour after taste. Moreover, the chocolate comes in different shapes, color shades, and sizes. Also, the chocolate can be customized to include additional ingredients suggested by a client (Juhari & Petersen 2018). Fresh hibiscus is not consumed raw but is dried or typically cooled. Hibiscus adds a tangy and nice crunchy bite to chocolate or salads. Specifically, hibiscus curds complement any chocolate by crowning its outer layer besides providing a decorative value. The purpose of hibiscus is more than decoration since it provides a concentrated flavor (Ariyo 2017). Readily available in most markets, dried hibiscus gives the chocolate a purplish pink appearance with unique taste.
Nutritional Issue and Product Benefits
Hibiscus is rich in minerals, vitamin C, and lots of antioxidants, which help in treating anxiety and hypertension. This means that hibiscus is a significant source of antioxidants and vitamin C to the body of a consumer, irrespective of how it is consumed (Bakare et al. 2013). Therefore, the nutritional value cannot be ignored with the present rise in high blood pressure complications as a result of a sedentary lifestyle (Juhari & Petersen 2018). The medicinal value of hibiscus makes it’s a favorite for making chocolate. There are several health benefits of using hibiscus chocolate such as its ability to manage high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammatory problems, liver complications, and immune system (Ariyo 2017). Moreover, hibiscus is associated with reducing the risk of cancer. Also, hibiscus is known to speed up metabolism, thus, prolonged use might health in gradual loss of weight leading to an improved and healthy lifestyle (Juhari & Petersen 2018).
Current Nutritional Needs and Health Effects
The current health concerns are high blood pressure and liver complications due to a sedentary lifestyle among other factors. Moreover, obesity is on the rise as the world population embraces the fast-food lifestyle or consumption of a lot of fatty foods, which takes longer to digest (Bakare et al. 2013). The modern lifestyle is affecting the health of many people across the globe. For example, the instances of obesity have increased by up to 15% in the last ten years in Nigeria alone (Ariyo 2017). Factually, an obese person is predisposed to developing high blood pressure and liver complications. These complications are expensive to manage and might lead to serious health concerns in the long run. For instance, obesity might lead to liver complications and eventually grow to high blood pressure. The victim of such complications might spend the rest of his or her life managing high blood pressure, which could be controlled by consistently taking hibiscus products (Juhari & Petersen 2018).
The need for a healthy lifestyle makes hibiscus chocolate an ideal and natural solution to complications associated with high blood pressure, obesity, and liver problems. For instance, the antioxidants, vitamin C, and minerals contained in hibiscus might help in reducing weight through increasing metabolism rate and facilitation of fast digestion (Bakare et al. 2013). Moreover, this chocolate might improve the immune system by injecting vitamin C and several nutrients in the body. Also, the hibiscus chocolate is important in lowering the blood fat levels, which in turn boosts the health of the liver. Since chocolate improved metabolic rate, its consistent usage is associated with increased weight loss and fighting bacteria, and prevention of cancer. Also, recent research has established that hibiscus “can encourage an all-round fresher, younger, smoother looking complexion. The natural acids present in hibiscus help to purity the skin by breaking down dead skin and increasing cell turnover, thus, controlling acne breakouts” (Ariyo 2017, p. 24).
Product Requirements to Meet Health Needs
To meet the health needs such as weight loss, reduced blood pressure, and lowered liver complications, hibiscus content in the chocolate should be present in its natural form and consumed consistently over a prolonged period (Bakare et al. 2013). This means that the new hibiscus chocolate will be made with three layers of hibiscus to include the raw toppings, hibiscus curbs, and coverings of ground dried almond powder (Lee & Lee 2013). The chocolate will also incorporate other ingredients such as lemon and cocoa powder to add taste.
Effects of Processing/Storage on Micronutrients and Nutritional Quality of the Product
Since hibiscus and other ingredients will be used in their natural form, there will be no effects on the processing and storage of their micronutrients and any other nutritional quality of the final product. However, it is important to regulate heat to avoid overcooking, which affects the nutritional quality of vitamin C in hibiscus (Juhari & Petersen 2018). Moreover, it is important to preserve the minerals by regulating the temperature by avoiding freezing or overheating. This means that a perfect temperature has to be maintained at all times for optimal benefits of the proposed hibiscus chocolate. Also, the storage should be done in a warm dry place to avoid loss of nutrients (Bakare et al. 2013).
Ingredient Functions of the Product and Process Technology
To make the hibiscus chocolate with a yield of about ten medium sizes or fourteen small pieces, the estimated active time needed is 1 hour and fifteen minutes, which translates to about three hours total time.
Hibiscus curd: You need four large eggs, two egg yolks, one cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 of teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup of dried hibiscus, and 2 ounces of cold stick butter (for taste and to avoid stickiness while mixing). Start by beating the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar for roughly two minutes until the color lightens, meaning that the sugar has dissolved (to give the final product its texture and smooth surface). Whisk in the salt and lemon juice and stir in the hibiscus. Cook this mixture on low to medium heat for approximately ten minutes while whisking continuously then turn off the heat at the point when this mixture thickens (to ensure it sticks to the chocolate at the point of assembly) (Juhari & Petersen 2018). Add all-butter at once and continue to whisk until a perfect mix (to improve stickiness and smoothness). Blend the hibiscus with a blender and then chill the mixture completely before filling the chocolate (to give the final product a chilling taste).
Chocolate: You need butter (for evenly greasing the tins for chocolate), 60 grams of finely ground almond flour, 25 grams of dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder (taste), 150 grams of powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of plain olive oil, 50 grams of superfine or granulated sugar, three large eggs (room temperature), two large yolks (room temperature), and one cup of whole milk (room temperature) (to give taste). Begin by preheating the oven to a temperature of 45 degrees F convection (the ideal temperature for ensuring that the ingredients mix) followed by buttering two 8-inch pans while covering the bottoms with a parchment round (to prevent chocolate bars from sticking at the bottom of the cans). Butter the open sides of each can. Sift together cocoa powder, almond flour, powdered sugar (bar development, and determining the texture of the final product).
Use a stand mixer to evenly cream the olive oil, butter, and granulated sugar together for approximately three minutes, until it has a lighter texture and color (determine the color and texture of the final product). Crack the yolks and eggs in a cup and add them to the batter while mixing thoroughly for about thirty seconds (to add taste and smoothness). Stir continuously until the batter smoothens. Mix everything until they come together. Use a scale to separate the mixture into two chocolate pans while using a spatula to smoothen their tops (creation of uniform products). Refrigerate this mixture for approximately five hours, until an inserted toothpick in the chocolate comes out clean (determining if the chocolate has solidified). Run a clean knife close to the pan sides. It is important to note that the freezing time might be significantly reduced by setting low temperatures or using modern freezers.
Ganache: You need nine ounces of dark chocolate, one cup and three tablespoons of heavy cream, and one pinch of salt (add taste and smoothness). Start by heating the cream over medium heat either in a stove or microwave. At the point when the milk simmers, pour over the salt and chocolate while stirring for about three minutes. Whisk all the ingredients until they mix evenly and smoothly (determine the thickness, texture, and smoothness of the final product).
The chocolate bar is then assembled using about ten dried hibiscus calyxes, two layers of ganache batch, and one hibiscus curd batch. Gently trim the hibiscus calyxes stems. Level the chocolate and dole about 1/3 of the chilled hibiscus curd then add the next layer. Pour the ganache evenly making sure that is viscous using the offset spatula.
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Effect of Processing (Heat, pH, Enzymes, and Mechanical Shear) on Ingredient Performance
Extremely high temperatures above 60 degrees F denature the enzymes in the ingredients and compromise the quality of the hibiscus chocolate. On the other hand, low heat might make it difficult for the ingredients to evenly mix. Moreover, increased temperature at the point of mixing the ingredients might reduce the pH of the final product and render it very acidic (Bakare et al. 2013). On the other hand, prolonged lower temperatures during the mixing of the ingredients might increase the pH and render the hibiscus chocolate alkaline. There is a need for a perfect mix between heat, enzyme, and pH, thus, the proposed temperature of 45 degrees F for about three minutes. There is a need for a perfect mixture of the ingredients to avoid chocolate extrusion. For instance, it will be necessary to balance the heat, mixing of ingredients, and time to ensure that the mixture is viscoelastic to balance pressure changes on the suffer and interior of the final chocolate (Bakare et al. 2013).
Major Equipment Required at Lab Scale Compared to Factory Scale
|Lab Scale||Factory Scale|
|Hand operated flour mixer: For mixing ingredients and whirling evenly after adding each ingredient||Mechanized flour mixer: For mixing large scale of ingredients to create an even paste|
|Lightweight machine: For measuring the weight of each ingredient||Heavy electric weight machine: For weighing large quantities of ingredients|
|Hand spatula: Scooping ingredients and flattening the top of the final chocolate||Mechanized scooping crane: Scooping ingredients at each mixing stage|
|Flat mixing table: Rolling the bars and evenly mixing other ingredients in making the chocolate||Rotational roller tank: For mixing the ingredients faster and evenly|
|Family blender: Mixing hibiscus curd ingredients and panache||Mechanized blender: Mixing ingredients in making panache and hibiscus pastes|
|Ordinary oven and microwave: warming the ingredients for even mixing||Room oven and microwave drawers: warming the ingredients for even mixing|
|Freezer: Keeping chilled ingredients at the right temperature||Cold store: Keeping chilled ingredients at the right temperature|
|Knife and packaging surface: Cutting chocolate and assembly into boxes||Mechanized cutter and rollers: Cutting the chocolate and moving to the assembly point|
|Boxes and drawer: Packaging the chocolate and storage||Boxes, containers, and store: Packaging the chocolate, moving the final products, and storing them awaiting distribution|
Table 1. Major equipment required at lab scale compared to factory-scale.
The packaging room should have consistent room temperature, that is, 25 degrees Celsius. The room should be well aerated and not exposed to direct light to keep the chocolate fresh and well moist. Moreover, the room should not be humid since excess moisture might interfere with the packaging papers and make the chocolate sloppy.
Cool Chain Management
Cool chain management is necessary to ensure that the chocolates remain at the recommended temperature and humidity before and during storage or transportation. The following conditions should be observed by the customer;
- Do not expose the chocolate to direct sunlight.
- Do not expose the chocolate to temperatures above 30 degrees for long.
- Once the chocolate is opened, keep in room temperature refrigeration for up to 3 days.
- This chocolate might be mixed with other ingredients at will, however, do not expose it to extreme heat conditions.
- Protect the environment, recycle this package.
The chemical, microbiological, and sensory analysis methods needed to assess the quality and composition of this hibiscus chocolate are aimed at evaluating the oxidative stability, nutritional value, and customer acceptance. The polyunsaturated fatty acids oxidative stability was carried out using the lipid peroxidation test (TBARS) for the chocolate. The presence of linolenic acid was carried out using gas chromatography in addition to dietary fiber, ash, lipid, and protein content (Nyam et al. 2014). The examination of consumer preference was done via a programmed hedonic scale consisting of nine points. The results indicated that the oxidative lipid flaxseeds’ stability was unaffected by heat treatment during flour processing (Lee 2015). Of the sampled chocolate bars, the most accepted by clients had a higher dietary fiber of about 5.5g and linolenic acid within the range of 670 to 2,500 gm/100 g-1, which is within the microbiological standards for acceptance. The hibiscus chocolate generally received a positive claim of excellent dietary sources of linolenic acid and fiber, which are bioactive compounds (Juhari & Petersen 2018). The packaging of the bars will be done within the FSANZ Food Standards Code. The only likely allergen is mold due to poor storage.
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