While I am busy trying to remove every last bit of shells from winnowed nibs, others are doing their best to bring it back to cacao and other food items. Why not? Shells, according to literature is 12 percent of cocoa beans. Putting it to good use means more income. In my own experience, the average nib recovery is about 20%.
So I am loosing more that what the literature said.
I tried making cocoa shell tea but the result was awful. I stopped the experimentation after an acquaintance told me about the possibility of mycotoxin content which resides mostly on shells. As of now, its best use is organic fertilizer.
Nibs, the edible bean part, is turned into delicious chocolate. On the other hand, shells taste bad and should not be included. The maximum allowable amount is 1%. The lower, the better. The very reason why I am removing them as much as I could.
Ground shells as chocolate and related product extender.
While we were on product bazaar. A marketing agent told us about a local chocolate company adding powdered shells to their product. He was disappointment and discontinued carrying their brand.
A friend, who owns a vegetarian food store, rejected a local brand. The reason? Inclusion of cocoa shells. Her sense of taste was sensitive enough to detect. Shells tend to float when prepared as hot drink, she added.
The did is obviously cheating. Then, genius people thought of brilliant workaround.
While picking up our cocoa beans yesterday. The organization president told me about Callebaut legalizing the use of powdered shells as cocoa extender. There are also claims and researches on antioxidant property and rich in fiber claims. I saw two articles on web proving what he told me. I opted not reveal source due to their very strict copyright restriction.