Cancelled - Chocolate short course: The science behind a dark chocolate bar

Date and Time



Food Science Department 

University of Guelph

bean to bar chocolate


Chocolate Science Short Course

Learn about the science behind making a dark chocolate bar.

Work with Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario beans to learn about the physical characteristics of the fermented and dried beans.

Evaluate aromas, flavours and texture. Understand the chemistry of roasting and conching steps as well as the role of each ingredient.

Who is the course designed for?

  • Artisan bean/farm to bar companies or prospective companies
  • General public for personal interest
  • Employees of larger companies wanting to learn about the science behind making chocolate


Registration Fee: $1,000 in Canadian funds (plus 13% HST). Includes lunches and refreshments.


What do I need to bring?

1 to 2 chocolate bars to be used for sensory evaluation and for an exercise in which the percentage of some ingredients like protein, sugar and theobromine are measured.

What is included in the fee?

You will have all lab supplies and course notes provided at no additional cost.

Refreshments and lunches will be provided.

What costs are in addition to the course fee?

Parking on campus is an additional fee and can be purchased online when registering.

Accommodation is not included.

Course Structure and Topics:

Three days from 8:30am to 4:30pm

A combination of lectures and lab work with hands-on chocolate making and testing, this course will provide participants with knowledge of ingredients, processing and quality features of dark chocolate. The sessions examine the technical points of chocolate making with an emphasis on the quality of the finished product. Lectures, lab sessions, and demonstrations will provide opportunity for understanding quality issues and solutions.

Day 1

Roasting and its relation with aromas

  • Differences in cacao beans due to origin and farm processing conditions.
  • Chemistry during cocoa bean fermentation and roasting.

Lab: 1 - Roasting, 2 - Breaking and winnowing, 3 - Aromas before roasting and after winnowing

Day 2


  • Differences when grinding nibs alone, with sugar and other ingredients and the implication of conching.
  • Health benefits and quality of chocolate, based on ingredients added.
  • Food Safety in the manufacture of cocoa products.

Lab: 1 - Grinding of nibs to make chocolate liquor, 2 - Recipe, 3 - Conching

Day 3

Texture and Quality

  • Analytical techniques to study chocolate bar textures.
  • Cocoa butter crystallization and the impact on texture.

Lab: 1 - Tempering, 2 - Molding, 3 - Tasting: texture and flavours – use of the International Chocolate Award rubric

For any questions about future courses, please contact:

Fernanda Peyronel

Phone number: 519 824 4120 extension 56422

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