European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 245, Issue 4, pp 837–852 | Cite as

Comparing flavor profiles of dark chocolates refined with melanger and conched with Stephan mixer in various alternative chocolate production techniques

  • Michael HinnehEmail author
  • Davy Van de Walle
  • Daylan Amelia Tzompa-Sosa
  • Julie Haeck
  • Enoch Enorkplim Abotsi
  • Ann De Winne
  • Kathy Messens
  • Jim Van Durme
  • Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa
  • Luc De Cooman
  • Koen Dewettinck
Original Paper


The use of alternative equipment for chocolate production is gaining attention in recent times in many countries. This is due to the lower cost of investment and maintenance, multi-functionality, and lower throughput. This study was conducted to investigate the applicability of two of such equipment; melanger and Stephan mixer. In the first set-up, the possibility of refining chocolate with the melanger in comparison with the conventional 3-roll refiner was explored. Whereas in the second set-up, the applicability of the Stephan mixer (aided with a vacuum pump) for a conching-like application was also investigated. From each set-up, 70% dark chocolates produced through various alternative means were then evaluated on the basis of their flavor profiles. Specific groups of volatiles such as aldehydes, ketones, terpenes and terpenoids, showed significant (p < 0.05) differences due to the different refining techniques applied. However, this effect was not reflected in terms of the overall volatile concentrations of these chocolates. For chocolates which were conched with Stephan mixer, the decreasing effect of vacuum duration and its interaction with dry conching temperature on the total volatile concentration also proved significant (p < 0.05). Finally, an agglomerative hierarchical clustering of all chocolates on the basis of their aroma volatiles revealed three distinct clusters. Nonetheless, a 112—member consumer preference testing showed statistically similar (p > 0.05) preference for these representative chocolates from the clusters. These findings stimulate various practical application possibilities for tuning chocolate flavor through alternative processing for both industries and various artisans worldwide.


Dark chocolate Alternative processing Melanger Stephan mixer Flavor profile 



The authors would like to express their profound gratitude to the Belgian Government through VLIR-UOS for funding this project (ICP PhD 2014-001). Also a big thanks to the staff of Cacaolab bvba for their technical assistance.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Compliance with ethics requirements

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Hinneh
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Davy Van de Walle
    • 1
  • Daylan Amelia Tzompa-Sosa
    • 1
  • Julie Haeck
    • 1
  • Enoch Enorkplim Abotsi
    • 1
  • Ann De Winne
    • 3
  • Kathy Messens
    • 4
  • Jim Van Durme
    • 3
  • Emmanuel Ohene Afoakwa
    • 2
  • Luc De Cooman
    • 3
  • Koen Dewettinck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Food Technology, Safety and Health, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Food ScienceUniversity of GhanaLegon-AccraGhana
  3. 3.Research Group Molecular Odor Chemistry, Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems (M2S), Research Cluster Food and BiotechnologyKU Leuven Technology CampusGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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