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 

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

What do I need to bring?

Two types of dark chocolate bar - 3 identical bars of each type (total 6 bars)

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 knowledgs 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

Aromas and Flavours

  • Differences in cacao beans due to origins and farm processing conditions.
  • Chemistry during cocoa bean fermentation.
  • Sensory perception; taste and mouthfeel.

Lab: Testing to characterise aromas before and after different industry processing steps.

Day 2

Recipes and Canadian Definitions of Chocolate

  • Changes in the nibs during roasting and conching.
  • Quality of chocolate based on ingredients added.
  • Health benefits of cocoa products.

Lab: Manufacturing chocolate bars.

Day 3

Texture, Quality and Food Safety

  • Tempering: is there a best technique?
  • Cocoa butter crystallization and the impact on texture.
  • Manufacturing, packaging, food safety.
  • Analytical techniques to study chocolate bar textures.

For any questions about future courses, please contact  

Fernanda Peyronel

Phone number: 519 824 4120 extension 56422

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