Development and Quality Assessment of Date Chocolate Products
Date chocolate products were produced by processing cocoa bean into cocoa powder (fermentation, milling, alkalization, press cake to cocoa butter, grinding, sifting and cocoa powder) and Date fruit into date powder (cleaning, sorting, drying, milling and sifting). The powders (Cocoa and Date) were used in the formulation of four different samples of chocolate mixes. The chemical analysis of the Date chocolates showed that sample C had the highest pH value, this was followed by sample B, while sample A had the lowest value. Sample B had high moisture content, with sample D having the highest. The four samples contained trace amount of fat; the carbohydrate contents of the samples were high, with sample B having the highest, while the protein contents were a bit close with sample D having the highest. Microbiological analysis showed the mesophilic aerobic bacteria plate count and the yeast and mould count are within the range of the standard. The sensory evaluation showed that samples A and B significantly differed (p<0.05) in taste, while samples A and D differed in texture significantly (p<0.05). There was no significant difference (p<0.05) in flavor, color, firmness and overall acceptability for the 4 samples. The use of Date-palm in chocolate production improved the taste and flavor of the product. The use of Date palm with or without sugar produces chocolate with a different texture and sweetness.