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Coenraad Johannes Van Houten
Transcript of Coenraad Johannes Van Houten
The Dutch Chemist and Chocolatier
By: Madison Norman
Coenraad Johannes van Houten was born March 15, 1801 in Amsterdam. Van Houten was son to Casparus van Houten and Arnoldina Koster. In 1815, his father opened a chocolate factory in Amsterdam, which had a mill turned by laborers. Coenraad worked in his father's factory and become prominent for the treatment of cocoa mass with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make cocoa solids more soluble. In 1835, Coenraad married Hermina van Houten and in 1850 he moved his production from Leiden to Weesp. By this time, his chocolate had been exported to England, France and Germany. Van Houten's business boomed after he created a commercial for his chocolate factory. Coenraad then later died in 1887 in Weesp, Netherlands.
What did van Houten do?
Casparus van Houten patented an inexpensive method for pressing the fat from roasted cocoa beans. He used a hydraulic machine to reduce the coca butter content by hearly half. This formed a cake that could be pulverized into cocoa powder. And thus, Casparus formed the cocoa press.
Cooenraad then further improved the ideas of cocoa powder by adding alkaline salts (potassium or sodium carbonates) to come up with a powder that would mix more easily with water.
Translation of picture: Pure Soluble. Best in the use of the cheapest.
Advertisements of Van Houten's Chocolate and Cocoa
Van Houten Chocolate
He created the cocoa powder to form a sweeter powder that would be used in cakes and desserts all over the world. Without van Houten, chocolate would not have been made sweet and tasteful. So, thanks to him, I've had the joy of calling brownies, chocolate chip cookies and KitKats my favorite sweets.
Van Houten's Machine
How Chocolate Is Made Now?
Amsterdam: Then and Now
Van Houten vs. Hershey
Van Houten Factory in Weesp
& Weesp Now
The Aftermath of Van Houten's Invention
In 2008, van Houten celebrated its 180th year making chocolate drink mixes, chocolate bars and cocoa powder. The factory in Weesp closed in 1971. The brand is currently part of the Stollwerck chocolate manufacturing company, which is owned by the Baronie Group, a Belgian concern.
Without van Houten's wonderful discovery of making chocolate a sweeter substance, many of us would not have the distinct pleasure of eating chocolate sweets.