I have been thinking for long now. The possibility of winnowing cocoa beans before roasting.
It has several strengths and weaknesses.
I can still use cracked, shelled and partially shelled beans. They are considered defective as they tend to burn during roast. If cracked and winnowed while unroasted, all will be of equal footing.
Whenever I sort out those defect, I am thinking it could still be used without depriving product quality. I just have to find a way.
Faster roasting times, bigger load and faster timer. I tested this once. It is indeed more efficient.
Easier pre-grinding right after roasting. Nibs are relatively hot right after roasting. There is plenty of room to finish pre-grinding before all nibs get cold. However, it never apply if let cooled before pre-grind.
Roasting further evaporates water from beans, making the nibs and shell brittle. In addition, shell separate from nibs. These two phenomenon ease the winnowing process.
Winnowing raw bean requires special equipment of unknown availability. What I mean is, commercial winnowers are designed to work with roasted beans.
Different nibs sizes may result to uneven roasting. Powdery particles burns down faster than larger chunks. Pre-sorting maybe done for more efficient result. Another necessary equipment seen here.
May saved cocoa butter resulting to more delicious product. Some butter are transferred shells when roasted. This problem is solved by removing the shells first before subjecting under heat. Saving is negligible on small scale but sure a money maker on volume production.