Utah State Opens First On-Campus Bean-to-Chocolate Factory

Sep 28, 2018, 6:09 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm

LOGAN, Utah – Food Science professors at Utah State University used to teach a chocolate history class out of a textbook. Now, they have a chocolate factory of their own to better give hands-on experience.

Carefully sorting cacao beans from Belize, a group of Food Science students, prepared to create chocolate from scratch Friday.

“Chocolate is like a girl’s best friend, right?” said Heather Nicholson, a food science major and teaching assistant. “Of all the foods to learn about, chocolate is really fascinating.”

Food science professor Silvana Martini said she used to teach a freshman level chocolate science, history, and society course from a textbook. Faculty members were able to eventually garner support for a complete, bean to storefront factory.

“Everybody likes chocolate,” Silvana said. “It’s a very complex system, when you look at it from the food science point of view.”

The plant production manager, Steve Shelton, said the plan was to produce 70 percent cacao chocolate – richer than most of the candy bar varieties in the United States. Shelton said differences in where the cacao beans are bought, how they’re roasted, and even when certain ingredients are added can impact the flavor.

“Once people get an opportunity to start tasting the subtle nuances that you can actually get out of cacao beans, then I think it opens up a whole new world for you,” Shelton said.

Once the beans make it into the factory, Shelton said it’s a two-month process to make chocolate bars.

While many of the students taking the chocolate laboratory course, like Nicholson, don’t necessarily plan to become chocolatiers, they said the course teaches them some important things about food.

“If I’m eating dark chocolate, I feel like I’m being pretty healthy,” Nicholson said. “But I’m also just getting a really just sweet, rich, complex experience. For me, I think that’s why I love chocolate so much.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

The 6-month-old troublemaker leading first responders on a chase on I-80. (Salt Lake County Animal ...
Michael Houck

Stray dog runs loose at entrance of Parleys Canyon freeway

A stray puppy gave first responders a slow-speed chase on the highway entrance of Parleys Canyon Sunday.
1 day ago
Lava flowing from Mauna Loa Volcano during the night. (KSL-TV's Carissa Hutchinson)...
Shelby Lofton

‘It’s kind of an eerie feeling;’ Utah man living in Hawaii witnesses Mauna Loa eruption

A Utah man has a front-row seat to the Mauna Loa Volcano eruption happening on the Big Island of Hawaii.
1 day ago
Campus View Suites II where 18-year-old Peyton Hall fell to his death Sunday morning. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Houck & Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL-TV

Utah Tech student dead after accidentally falling from balcony

A freshman Utah Tech University student is dead after accidentally falling from a fifth-floor balcony early Sunday morning, according to the university and Utah Tech Police Department.
1 day ago
Three men are facing federal charges for allegedly robbing a postal carrier at gunpoint and taking ...
Brooke Williams

Man arrested after lengthy search, one still wanted

A 22-year-old man was arrested early Sunday after fleeing from a traffic stop.
1 day ago
A West Valley police car. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)...
Brooke Williams

Two dead after crashing into parked truck

Two people died after they crashed into a truck parked on the side of the road on Saturday.
1 day ago
Keith Jensen's Christmas home lit up by all the festive lights. (KSL-TV)...
Michael Locklear

Millcreek man lights up neighborhood with the face of Santa

Millcreek man is spreading Christmas cheer through tens of thousands of lights all around his home.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Utah State Opens First On-Campus Bean-to-Chocolate Factory