Coenraad Johannes van Houten

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Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten.jpg
Portrait of Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Born(1801-03-15)15 March 1801
Died27 May 1887(1887-05-27) (aged 86)
Weesp, Netherlands

Coenraad Johannes van Houten (15 March 1801, Amsterdam – 27 May 1887, Weesp) was a Dutch chemist and chocolate maker known for the treatment of cocoa mass with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make cocoa solids more water-soluble; the resulting product is still called "Dutch process chocolate". He is also credited with introducing a method for pressing the fat (cocoa butter) from roasted cocoa beans, though this was in fact his father, Casparus van Houten's invention. [1]

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands

Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands, with a population of 866,737 within the city proper, 1,380,872 in the urban area, and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. Amsterdam is in the province of North Holland.

Weesp City and municipality in North Holland, Netherlands

Weesp is a city and municipality in the province of North Holland, Netherlands. It had a population of 18,988 in 2017. It lies on the river Vecht and next to the Amsterdam–Rhine Canal in an area called the Vechtstreek. Weesp is part of the Amsterdam metropolitan area even if the city is surrounded by open grassland and lakes.

Netherlands Constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Europe

The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe with some overseas territories. In Europe, it consists of 12 provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with those countries and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba—it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian.

Contents

Father and son van Houten

Coenraad van Houten was the son of Casparus van Houten (1770–1858) and Arnoldina Koster. His father opened a chocolate factory in Amsterdam in 1815, with a mill turned by laborers. At that time, cocoa beans were ground into a fine mass, which could then be mixed with milk to create a chocolate drink or, with addition of sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla, made into cookies.

Cinnamon spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum

Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast cereals, snackfoods, tea and traditional foods. The aroma and flavour of cinnamon derive from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde, as well as numerous other constituents, including eugenol.

Vanilla A flavoring extracted from orchids of the genus Vanilla

Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, is translated simply as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlīlxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s.

Cocoa press

In 1828 Casparus van Houten Sr. (and not his son, who is usually credited) [1] patented an inexpensive method for pressing the fat from roasted cocoa beans. The center of the bean, known as the "nib", contains an average of 54 percent cocoa butter, which is a natural fat. Van Houten's machine – a hydraulic press – reduced the cocoa butter content by nearly half. This created a "cake" that could be pulverized into cocoa powder, which was to become the basis of all chocolate products.

Patent Intellectual property conferring a monopoly on a new invention

A patent is a form of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of years, in exchange for publishing an enabling public disclosure of the invention. In most countries patent rights fall under civil law and the patent holder needs to sue someone infringing the patent in order to enforce his or her rights. In some industries patents are an essential form of competitive advantage; in others they are irrelevant.

Cocoa bean Fatty seed of Theobroma cacao which is the basis of chocolate

The cocoa bean or simply cocoa, which is also called the cacao bean or cacao, is the dried and fully fermented seed of Theobroma cacao, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter can be extracted. Cocoa beans are the basis of chocolate, and Mesoamerican foods including tejate, a pre-Hispanic drink that also includes maize.

The introduction of cocoa powder not only made creating chocolate drinks much easier, but also made it possible to combine the powder with sugar and then remix it with cocoa butter to create a solid, already closely resembling today's eating chocolate.

In 1838 the patent expired, enabling others to produce cocoa powder and build on Van Houten's success, experimenting to make new chocolate products. In 1847 English chocolate maker J. S. Fry & Sons produced arguably the first chocolate bar. Later developments were in Switzerland, where Daniel Peter introduced milk chocolate in 1875 and Rodolphe Lindt made chocolate more blendable by the process of conching in 1879.

J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd. was a British chocolate company owned by Joseph Storrs Fry and his family. The business went through several changes of name and ownership; it was named J. S. Fry & Sons in 1822. In 1847, Fry's produced the first solid chocolate bar. The company also created the first filled chocolate sweet, Cream Sticks, in 1853. Fry is most famous for Fry's Chocolate Cream, the first mass produced chocolate bar which was launched in 1866, and Fry's Turkish Delight, launched in 1914.

Daniel Peter was a Swiss chocolatier. A neighbour of Henri Nestlé in Vevey, he was one of the first chocolatiers to make milk chocolate, in 1875 or 1876, by adding powdered milk to the chocolate.

Rodolphe Lindt Swiss chocolate manufacturer and inventor

Rodolphe Lindt, actually Rudolf Lindt,, was a Swiss chocolate manufacturer and inventor. He founded the Lindt chocolate factory and invented the conching machine and other processes to improve the quality of chocolate.

Dutch process chocolate

Coenraad Van Houten introduced a further improvement by treating the powder with alkaline salts (potassium or sodium carbonates) so that the powder would mix more easily with water. Today, this process is known as "Dutching". The final product, Dutch chocolate, has a dark color and a mild taste. [2]

Potassium carbonate chemical compound

Potassium carbonate is the inorganic compound with the formula K2CO3. It is a white salt, which is soluble in water. It is deliquescent, often appearing a damp or wet solid. Potassium carbonate is mainly used in the production of soap and glass.

Sodium carbonate chemical compound

Sodium carbonate, Na2CO3, (also known as washing soda, soda ash and soda crystals) is the inorganic compound with the formula Na2CO3 and its various hydrates. All forms are white, water-soluble salts. All forms have a strongly alkaline taste and give moderately alkaline solutions in water. Historically it was extracted from the ashes of plants growing in sodium-rich soils. Because the ashes of these sodium-rich plants were noticeably different from ashes of wood (once used to produce potash), sodium carbonate became known as "soda ash". It is produced in large quantities from sodium chloride and limestone by the Solvay process.

Dutch process chocolate Chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent

Dutch process chocolate or Dutched chocolate is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a milder taste compared to "natural cocoa" extracted with the Broma process. It forms the basis for much of modern chocolate, and is used in ice cream, hot cocoa, and baking.

Later career

In 1835 Coenraad van Houten married Hermina van Houten (unrelated) from Groningen. In 1850 he moved his production from a windmill in Leiden to a steam factory in Weesp. By that time he was exporting chocolate to England, France, and Germany. In 1866 John Cadbury traveled to Weesp to buy a Van Houten press, but didn't use it in his manufacturing until 1875.

Leiden City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, Netherlands. The municipality of Leiden had a population of 123,856 in August 2017, but the city forms one densely connected agglomeration with its suburbs Oegstgeest, Leiderdorp, Voorschoten and Zoeterwoude with 206,647 inhabitants. The Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) further includes Katwijk in the agglomeration which makes the total population of the Leiden urban agglomeration 270,879, and in the larger Leiden urban area also Teylingen, Noordwijk, and Noordwijkerhout are included with in total 348,868 inhabitants. Leiden is located on the Oude Rijn, at a distance of some 20 kilometres from The Hague to its south and some 40 km (25 mi) from Amsterdam to its north. The recreational area of the Kaag Lakes (Kagerplassen) lies just to the northeast of Leiden.

John Cadbury British businessman

John Cadbury was an English proprietor and founder of Cadbury, the chocolate business based in Birmingham, England.

Coenraad's son Casparus Johannes (1844–1901), employed since 1865, had a gift for marketing and contributed greatly to the growth of the company. Advertisements for Van Houten could be found on trams throughout Europe and the United States. As early as 1899 Van Houten produced a commercial film that depicted a sleepy clerk who recovers miraculously after eating some chocolate. [3] The factory was a boost for the town of Weesp, whose population doubled in the second half of the 19th century. Casparus Jr. had himself built a 99-room Jugendstil villa in Weesp, by the renowned architect A. Salm (1857–1915). [4] Work was started in 1897 but not completed until 1901, the year he died. [5]

The Van Houten company was sold in 1962 to W.R. Grace, and the factories in Weesp closed in 1971. The Van Houten brand name, still in use, has been transferred several times since, in 1990 from the German chocolate manufacturer Jacobs Suchard to Philip Morris. It subsequently was owned by the Stollwerck chocolate manufacturing company and since 2002 by Barry Callebaut. [6]

The legacy of Dutch process cocoa

Dutch process cocoa is generally acknowledged as superior to cocoa not processed in this way. [7] The combination of the inventions by father and son van Houten led to the nineteenth-century mass production and consumption of chocolate, or, as some call it, the "democratization" of chocolate. [8]

"Drink Van Houten's Cocoa!" wrote Vladimir Mayakovsky in his poem, A Cloud in Trousers. This infamous citation is the title of Ornela Vorpsi's book from 2010. [9]

A Van Houten's Cocoa shop can be seen during the opening battle sequence of Neil Jordan's 1996 film Michael Collins .

Related Research Articles

Chocolate Food produced from the seed of Theobroma cacao

Chocolate is a usually sweet, brown food preparation of roasted and ground cacao seeds that is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Olmecs, with evidence of chocolate beverages dating to 1900 BC. The majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs. The word "chocolate" is derived from the Classical Nahuatl word chocolātl.

Nutella is a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa spread. Nutella is manufactured by the Italian company Ferrero and was first introduced in 1965, although its first iteration dates to 1963.

Hot chocolate Heated beverage of chocolate in milk or water

Hot chocolate, also known as drinking chocolate, cocoa, and as chocolate tea in Nigeria, is a heated drink consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and usually a sweetener. Hot chocolate may be topped with whipped cream or marshmallows. Hot chocolate made with melted chocolate is sometimes called drinking chocolate, characterized by less sweetness and a thicker consistency.

Broma process Method of extracting cocoa butter from roasted cocoa beans

In chocolate making, the Broma process is a method of extracting cocoa butter from roasted cocoa beans. The Broma process consists of hanging bags of roasted cocoa beans in a very warm room, above the melting point of cocoa butter, and allowing the cocoa butter to drip off the beans, where it is collected. The Dutch process differs from the Broma process in that, after the cocoa butter has been drained off the beans as described above, the beans are then soaked in an alkaline solution to make them chemically neutral.

Cocoa butter Pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean

Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, as well as some ointments, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals. Cocoa butter has a cocoa flavor and aroma. Its melting point is just below human body temperature.

Raw chocolate

Raw chocolate is chocolate which is produced in a raw or minimally-processed form. It is made from unroasted (sun-dried) cacao beans and cold pressed cacao butter. A variety of crystalline and liquid sweeteners may be used, including: coconut sugar, coconut nectar, xylitol, agave nectar, maple syrup, and stevia. Cane sugar and other highly processed sugars are not used. Dairy products are not added to raw chocolate, therefore it is usually vegan. Soy is also usually avoided – soy lecithin is often used in processed chocolate. It is also naturally gluten-free.

Chocolate cake A baked cake flavored with chocolate

Chocolate cake or chocolate gâteau is a cake flavored with melted chocolate, cocoa powder, or both.

Konditorei craft business, produces pastry or sweet pastries

Akonditorei is a business that typically offers a wide variety of pastries and typically also serves as a café, these are found in many different countries including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, and more. However the culture and function of the konditorei may vary based on locations. In Germany, Austria, and Switzerland it's a popular custom to go to a konditorei to have a cake and some coffee or hot chocolate mid-afternoon. A similar culture is present in several northern European countries influenced by central European trends, such as Denmark and Sweden. In order to become a konditor, the speciality baker for a konditorei, the profession requires an extensive apprenticeship or speciality training program.

Types of chocolate A range of foods derived from cocoa

Chocolate is a range of foods derived from cocoa (cacao), mixed with fat and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confectionery. There are several types of chocolate, classified according to the proportion of cocoa used in a particular formulation.

History of chocolate The development of chocolate products and production

The history of chocolate began in Mesoamerica. Fermented beverages made from chocolate date back to 450 BC. The Aztecs believed that cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, and the seeds once had so much value that they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter liquid, mixed with spices or corn puree. It was believed to be an aphrodisiac and to give the drinker strength. Today, such drinks are also known as "Chilate" and are made by locals in the South of Mexico. After its arrival to Europe in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it and it became popular throughout society, first among the ruling classes and then among the common people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered essential in the rations of United States soldiers during war.

Cocoa solids A mixture of many substances remaining after cocoa butter is extracted from cacao beans

Dry cocoa solids are the components of cocoa beans remaining after cocoa butter, the fat component, is extracted from chocolate liquor, roasted cocoa beans that have been ground into a liquid state. Cocoa butter is 50% to 57% of the weight of cocoa beans and gives chocolate its characteristic melting properties. Cocoa powder is the powdered form of the solids sold as an end product.

Van Houten is a Dutch toponymic surname.

Barry Callebaut is among the world's largest cocoa producers and grinders, with an average annual production of 1.7 million tonnes of cocoa. It was created in 1996 through the merging of the Belgian chocolate producer Callebaut and the French company Cacao Barry. It is currently based in Zürich, Switzerland, and operates in over 30 countries worldwide. It was created in its present form by Klaus Johann Jacobs.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to chocolate:

Ornela Vorpsi Albanian photographer and writer

Ornela Vorpsi, is an Albanian writer and photographer. Vorpsi studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, and has been living and working in Paris since 1997. In 2012 she was named one of the 35 best writers of Europe in Best European Fiction by Aleksander Hemon and Zadie Smith.

The chocolate industry in the Philippines developed after introducing the cocoa tree into Philippine agriculture. The growing of cacao or cocoa boasts a long history stretching from the colonial times. Originating from Mesoamerican forests, cacao was first introduced by the Spanish colonizers four centuries ago. Since then the Philippine cocoa industry has been the primary producer of cocoa beans in the Southeast Asia. There are many areas of production of cacao in the Philippines, owing to soil and climate. The chocolate industry is currently on a small to medium scale.

References

  1. 1 2 "Onderzoekers in actie: Peter van Dam De geschiedenis van de firma Van Houten Cacao" (in Dutch). Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  2. "Coenraad Johannes van Houten". Theobroma Cacao. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  3. "Cacao: Opwekkend!". Westfries Museum . Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  4. "1315.BT: Archief van G.B. Salm en A. Salm GBzn.; bouwtekeningen". Gemeente Amsterdam Stadsarchief. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  5. "Villa Casparus". 't Gooi info. Retrieved 14 March 2009.
  6. Van Houten drinks website
  7. Liddell, Caroline; Robin Weir (1996). Frozen Desserts: The Definitive Guide to Making Ice Creams, Ices, Sorbets, Gelati, and Other Frozen Delights. Macmillan. p. 35. ISBN   978-0-312-14343-5.
  8. Courtwright, David T. (2002). Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World. Harvard UP. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-674-01003-1.
  9. "Biography: Vorpsi, Ornela". Berliner Künstlerprogramm. Retrieved 20 March 2018.

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