Welcome back to the Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate blog! This week we are excited to share news from Milan, Italy.
In late November during Thanksgiving week, Dan O’Doherty our VP of Chocolate Operations and Nainoa Moore our Chocolate Maker embarked on a long trip from Maui, traveling halfway across the world to the city of Milan.
Three companies – Tecnochoc, Packint, and Ipac, are making the majority of our chocolate making and wrapping equipment for us in Milan. Dan and Nainoa’s quest was to inspect the progress of all of our chocolate machinery before it was crated and started its 6-8 week journey from Italy to Maui.
During this visit they were able to check machine dimensions, review electrical connections, witness initial operations, discuss maintenance procedures, and begin to coordinate shipping and customs requirement.
Dan and Nainoa were also eager see how well the machines produced chocolate using our Ku’ia logo production molds. As you can see from the quality of our 5g pieces below, we were very pleased with the results!
Image: Maui Ku`ia Estate 5g Chocolate Pieces
Tecnochoc designed and built our two tempering machines, two melting tanks, chocolate molding line and cooling tunnel. If you have read our blog about thechocolate making process then you will be familiar with our need for this high-tech equipment. Our equipment is only the sixth molding line that Tecnochoc has manufactured and it is capable of filling 360 molds an hour. This translates to 12,600 – 5g pieces, 2,160 – 25g bars, or 1,440 – 50g bars each hour! During their training Dan and Nainoa produced 3,000 of our 5g pieces on one of Tecnochoc’s in-house molding lines.
Image: Chocolate Molds
Image: Chocolate Pour
Image: Maui Ku`ia Estate 50g Chocolate Bars
Image: Chocolate Maker, Nainoa Moore
Once Dan and Nainoa produced the 3,000 – 5g pieces they then delivered them to Ipac, the company that sourced and refurbished our two chocolate wrapping machines. These machines were calibrated by running the 3,000 – 5g pieces through the machine, which wrapped the 5g pieces at a rate of 150 pieces per minute.
Image: IPAC 5g wrapping machine
Image: Dan O’Doherty at IPAC
Finally, Dan and Nainoa visited Packint the company that designed and built our two ball mills and two power conches. The quality of these machines is crucial because they are responsible for milling cocoa nibs, sugar, and cocoa butter to a 16-micron size, and then conching the resulting chocolate until it has silky smooth mouth feel and finish.
Packint also has a Tecnochoc molding line, which is very similar to our own so the team was able to see how the machines worked in unison.
Image:Packint Ball Mills
Now that the machines have all been quality-approved we are eagerly awaiting their arrival on Maui. As you will have seen in our previous blogs and on social media channels, our Chocolate Factoryconstruction is moving along well and we will update you when we begin installation of the new chocolate making and wrapping machinery in 2019. Stay tuned for updates!
By striving to source high quality machinery from multi-generational, family run companies around the world, we are demonstrating our commitment to create the highest quality chocolate possible for our Retail Customers, Ku’ia Chocolate Club Members, Chef – Professionals, and Corporate Partners. We look forward to sharing it with you all soon!
Image: Dan and Nainoa overseeing the process