The word cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’, as well as the Maya words Chocol’ha and the verb chokola’j “to drink chocolate together”, were then adapted centuries later by the aztecs. The Maya believed that the ka’kau’ was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods to be used by the Maya.
More than 2000 years ago Mayan Indians in Mexico and Central America used ground cocoa beans to create a drink. Before consuming the beans, they used them as a form of currency. They only ground the beans when they were worn out.
In 1528 – Cortez, a Spanish explorer, brought chocolate from the Aztecs to King Charles V in the form of cocoa beans. For a while the formula of chocolate drink was a secret for the pleasure of the nobility. When the secret got out the drink’s fame spread. The Spaniards became hooked on hot chocolate, mixing it with orange blossom water, or honey and spices.
In 1560 – Cocoa tree was also introduced to the Asians. The tree was brought to the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, from Caracas, Venezuela. By the middle of the next century, chocolate drinks were gaining widespread popularity in France. An enterprising Frenchman opened the first hot chocolate shop in London. Samuel Peyps wrote about it in his diary. By the 1700’s chocolate houses were as propular as coffee houses in England.
In 1765 – The production of chocolate started in North America, with the opening of a cocoa bean grinding mill in Massachusetts.
In 1778 – The people in Philippines, Jakarta and Sumatra were introduced to cocoa by the Dutch. Large scale production of cocoa started soon in Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia and Malaysia).
In 1828 – Conrad van Hooten, a Dutch chemist, patented a technique for improving the digestion power of cocoa. His technique allowed the extraction of the fat from roasted and crushed cocoa beans. Alkaline salts were added to the resultant powder, in order to dissolve the powder in water. This came to be known as ‘Dutch cocoa’. The mass production of cheap chocolate, using the Dutch cocoa, was permitted after the technique was patented.
In 1847 – It is marked as the first successful large scale production of chocolate bar, when J.S. Fry & Sons, an English manufacturing company, introduced the use of cocoa powder for the purpose.
In 1853, the Cadbury family business became the supplier of chocolate to Queen Victoria. In the same year, Cadbury-Schweppes emerged as one of the world’s leading chocolate manufacturers.
In 1879 – in Switzerland, Henri Nestle (a chemist) and chocolate manufacturer Daniel Peter formulated a technique to blend chocolate with milk, by using cocoa powder and condensed milk. The mixture was enriched further by adding cocoa butter and cocoa solids. This came to be known as milk chocolate, which proved to be a major commercial success.
In 1879 – Conching, the standard process was used for manufacturing chocolate, when Rudolphe Lindt, a Swiss chocolate manufacturer, invented the stone-grinding chocolate machine. The machine produced a finely grained mellow chocolate.
In 1894 – Hershey Chocolate Company was established by Milton Hershey, in Pennsylvania.
Thus the chocolate industry was born. Modern manufacturing methods enable retailers to sell chocolate to everyone. The advent of 20th century marked significant growth in the manufacture of cocoa, in different countries across the world. Today, the production as well as consumption of cocoa and chocolates has grown manifold.
In 2003 – Wahana Interfood Nusantara Tbk, PT. was established. As part of the younger generation of cocoa and chocolate company in Indonesia, the company is thrilled to be part of the chocolate making world and in mission to rediscover and re-introduce premium cocoa and chocolate products to the present and younger generations.
Today, Wahana Interfood Nusantara Tbk, PT. has become one of Indonesia’s promising premium cocoa and chocolate companies and as part of our expansion plans; we had also focused on world-wide markets.