Alkalization – also known as ‘Dutching’ – is a process that is designed to manipulate the pH of the cocoa nib prior to roasting. Alkalization changes the acidity of the cocoa solids resulting in a somewhat milder cocoa flavor but especially allowing you to manipulate the color of the resulting cocoa powder (from black to deep brown and even red). Over the past 30 years we have optimized our nib alkalization know-how and technology which resulted in a superior system with ultimate control over the product color and flavor.
Nib Alkalization (or “Dutching”) takes place before roasting. The Lehmann alkalization system from the Royal Duyvis Wiener group treats nibs with a moisture content as high as 35%. PH values of more than 8 can be achieved and high pressure and absolute vacuum can be applied during the alkalization process. This, combined with the superior internal mixing technology, results in perfect color and flavor development capabilities. After the alkalization step, the nibs need to be roasted. Depending on the recipe the alkalized nibs need to be processed in our continuous roaster type ‘KR’ or batch drum roaster type ‘BR’.
Some of the main advantages of the Lehmann alkalization system: