We humans love chocolate. On a typical day, about one billion people worldwide eat chocolate! But with these summer temperatures, sending chocolate without loss of quality and taste can be quite a challenge. And did you know that keeping chocolate too cold is also not good? How do our large pastry and chocolate customers ensure that the chocolate stays within the ideal temperature range? Keep on reading and discover it!
What is chocolate?
Chocolate is a delicacy made from sugar with cocoa butter and cocoa mass, which is extracted from cocoa beans. The amount of delicious things you can make of chocolate is endless: from bars to cakes to bonbons in all shapes and sizes. We enjoy it all over the world, but the Swiss are champions: in the country where Nestlé originates most chocolate on average is consumed: 8.8 kg per person per year!
Sending and storing chocolate: here’s what you need to pay attention to
There are three main points of attention when transporting or storing chocolate without loss of quality, namely temperature, moisture and light.
- Temperature: too hot. If the temperature is too hot, the chocolate will melt, which will deform the chocolate and cause ‘fat bloom‘: one of the types of white deposits. The latter is because the cocoa particles in the chocolate melt, and when they cool down again, solidify and form the characteristic white fat crystals. Make sure that the chocolate always stays below 25 °C.
- Temperature: too cold. Even at too low temperatures, a white layer can form on the chocolate, in this case we call it ‘sugar bloom‘. When the chocolate warms up again from a temperature that is too low, the cold air condenses, creating moisture on the surface. The sugar dissolves in this, which then crystallizes again, resulting in the same white deposit as with fat bloom.
- Moisture. It is often humid in the refrigerator due to condensation on various products and surfaces. Disastrous for the structure and taste of chocolate: the moisture absorbs into the chocolate, condenses and the infamous white layer on the chocolate can arise again.
- Light. Preferably do not keep the temperature in direct sunlight: this can also cause temperature fluctuations with repercussions on the structure and taste of the chocolate products.
- Smell. Chocolate is a real ‘odor eater‘. Storing in the refrigerator with strongly scented food products can affect the smell of your chocolate or bonbons. Don’t put the chocolate next to cleaning products either.
But what are good storage and transport conditions for chocolate?
It is best to store and transport chocolate dry (humidity of 50-70%), dark and far from scented products at a temperature between 13 and 18 °C. Many chocolate makers and pastry chefs choose to add a cooling element to the shipping packaging from when the temperature outside is 21 °C or higher. Packaging that protects your chocolate products against light and moisture is always important.
Gel packs and PCM tray packs to secure the temperature of chocolate
At Coolpack, we have been supplying various large chocolate webshops with gel packs for sending delicious bonbons and patisserie products for years. For this we mainly supply the Original gel packs 200 grams, which enable refrigerated shipping at a temperature of 0 °C to 8 °C. Thanks to our production facility on location in Assendelft, we can make these in almost all shapes and sizes: with a width of up to 27.5 cm, different segments and as long as you want! Prepare the gel pack for use by freezing it at -18 °C for at least 24 hours. Do you have a freezer that can’t get that cold? Then it takes a little longer before the gel pack is completely hard.
Since the ideal storage temperature for chocolate is between 13 and 18 °C, you can also opt for PCM tray packs with a solidification and melting point within this range. For example, a runner in our range is PCM with a eutectic melting point of +18 °C. Please contact us for more information or quickly receive an offer.
You prepare these refrigerated at a temperature of +5 °C to +10 °C – assuming that the ambient temperature during transport is higher than +18 °C. The PCM traypack takes on a solid shape and remains stable the longest at the temperature of +18 °C. Want to know more about how this works exactly? Check out our knowledge platform phasechangematerial.nl/en!
Leverage return flows: pick a reusable packaging
Do you have the opportunity to use return flows and get your packaging back at your warehouse? Then use reusable, shape-retaining PCM or cooling elements to keep the chocolate at the right temperature during transport. You can refreeze and reuse these as often as you like! Want to go extra sustainable? We can also supply the cooling elements in HDPE bottles made from renewable sources – these are still food proof!