BC Food Protection Association

2014 Student Event Articles:

February 5, 2014 - Purdy's Chocolates Student Tour

By Amanda Ding, UBC B.Sc., BCIT B.Tech (Public Health Inspection) Candidate

“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world's perfect food.” 
Michael Levine (Author)

Exquisite, divine, sublime, smooth, bitter sweet and irresistible. These are such words that have been used to describe the luxurious delights of chocolat. We have all loved it, craved it, indulged in it, given it away and at times, regretted that we have eaten...just a little too much. Yet, we always come back for more. Such are the wonders of chocolate.

On February 5th, 2014, twenty-five students from BCIT had a very special opportunity to explore their curiosities and discover the science behind chocolate at the Purdy’s Factory Store in Burnaby, BC. This was a fantastic treat and educational experience that involved multi-facultative collaboration between students and professionals in Food Sciences, Food Technology, Business Administration, and Public Health Inspection.

From the moment we entered, we were greeted by the saccharine aroma of rich cocoa and sweet caramels. Our host, Chelsea Leung, Quality Assurance Technician at Purdy's, welcomed us in a glass-stained, conference room at the beginning of the tour. She introduced us to a team of highly trained professionals and managers to be our tour guides, including Purdy’s Head Chocolatier, Gary Mitchell. After putting on our lab coats and hair nets, we were given an overview of safety protocol and then we were guided into the heart of the factory.

We learned about the chocolate fabrication procedures from cocoa pod to tempering and from shaping to boxing. Students were able to learn the chemical and physical properties and processes of candy crystallization, including the essential art of tempering and its importance in texture formation. Students were also able to uncover some misconceptions about candy factories and broaden their knowledge about critical control points, safety and quality control in each stage of the production process. 

At the end of the adventure, students were able to taste some of Purdy's latest products and purchase some gifts for loved ones back home. Special thanks to Chelsea Leung, Andrew Hou and Stephanie Nadya for organizing this amazing trip. We would gladly visit again!

Email: info@bcfoodprotection.ca

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