Cocoa Bean Winnowing Project
Joseph Barnes, Benjamin Jenkins, Montana Wells
The client for the Cocoa Bean Winnower project is US Roaster Corp. US Roaster Corp is located in downtown Oklahoma City, OK and they specialize in the manufacturing, design and repair of coffee bean roasters. Their roasters range in capacity from 3 oz to 300 kg. While the roasters are designed to roast coffee, they are easily adapted to roast cocoa beans. Recently, several small scale gourmet chocolate producers have started using US Roaster Corp roasters in the production of their product. The chocolate making process begins with roasting the cocoa beans. Once the beans are roasted they must be de-hulled, or winnowed. Winnowing separates the cocoa nib (the edible and sought after portion) from the outer hull, or chaff. The cocoa nibs are then processed into chocolate or other cocoa products. The winnowing process is important because if there is a high percentage of the hull present with the cocoa nibs then the quality of the chocolate will be poor.
Currently in the industry there is not a small scale winnower that is both efficient and affordable for small bean-to-bar chocolate producers. US Roaster Corp is interested in expanding their range of products to meet the needs of the gourmet chocolate industry. Triad Enterprises has developed a cocoa bean winnower that will deliver improved results in winnowing efficiency while staying within the budget range of most small scale chocolate operations. The estimated cost of the winnower will be roughly $8,129 depending on the supply of materials and cost of labor. The efficiency of the winnower is 95%-98% depending on the calibration with the capacity to run 100 lb of cocoa beans per hour if manually fed.
Triad Enterprises will research, design, and produce a cocoa bean winnowing system that will be marketable to small scale chocolate producers.
Scope of Work
The winnower needs to incorporate competitive features at price range that will make it marketable to small scale chocolate producers. US Roaster Corp needs to be able to fabricate the majority of the components of the winnowing system at their facilities with their current equipment. Aspects that were out of the scope of this project will be other components of chocolate production such as roasting, grinding, and tempering.