Q: What is the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic colour of cacao powder?

A: The colour of the cacao powder as such is the dry or extrinsic colour while the intrinsic colour corresponds to the colour of your final recipe made with the cacao powder. We strongly recommend always benchmarking colour in your recipe (intrinsic colour) versus the dry (extrinsic colour) colour.

Q: How to read the colour of the Cacao Barry cacao powder on your technical sheet?

A: The colour indicated on the Cacao Barry technical sheet is the intrinsic colour, meaning the colour of the powder in the application (not dry).

Q: What is the fat content of cacao powder?

A: The fat content is the amount of residual cocoa butter in the cacao powder and is determined by the pressing time and the pressure applied. Cocoa butter represents about half the weight of the cocoa nib. During the pressing step, the fat is partially removed from the fine cocoa liquor. A longer pressing time gives a low fat cacao powder, a shorter pressing time a high fat cacao powder. Learn more on how the fat content of the cacao powder may impact the colour and the texture of your recipe in the Cacao Alphabet book.

Q: How is the pH of cacao powder determined?

A: The pH of natural cacao powders depends on the acidic components of the cocoa beans. In general, the pH of this category is between 5.0 and 6.0. The pH of alkalised cacao powders is determined by the amount and type of alkalis used during the alkalization step. In general, the pH of alkalinized powders is between 6.1 and 8.2. Learn more on how the pH of the cacao powder selected may affect your recipe in the Cacao Alphabet book.

Q: How does the water absorption capacity of the cacao powder impact the recipe? Can you replace flour with cacao powder in your recipe?

A: Cacao powders influence the water absorption. The cacao powder competes with the other ingredients in the recipe to absorb the available water. Unlike flour which absorbs up to 40% of its weight, the cacao powder can absorb moisture up to 100% of its own weight. To obtain optimal results, adjust your recipe with water or eggs. Learn more on how the water absorption capacity of the cacao powder selected may impact your final creation in the Cacao Alphabet book.

Q:  Does the cacao powder continue to absorb over time?

A: No. The moisture content of the recipe will change but it is not necessarily related to the cacao powder used.

Q: How does the fineness of cacao powder affect your finished product?

A: The finer a cacao powder, the better the flavour release will be. Higher fineness brings a better & smoother mouth feel. High fineness decreases the risk of sedimentation. When cocoa particles are bigger, a product like chocolate or a dairy dessert, will be perceived as “sandy” or “gritty”. It also has a visual effect: high fineness brings darker and consistent colour to recipes through the absence of black spots. .

Q: How does the dispersibility of cacao powder impact your recipe?

A: The more dispersible the cacao powder is, the less decantation we have. Natural cacao powders are less dispersible than alkalized powders. The pH of the cacao powder indeed improves the wettability and makes it easier to blend in milk.