Cocoa liquor (also known as cocoa mass), is the first liquid stage of processing cocoa beans. Good fermented cocoa beans are cleaned, and usually subjected to an intense heat source for a short period of time. This stage is known as “micronising” and its purpose is primarily to loosen the shell from the nib of the bean. Once micronised, beans can be broken up and “winnowed”. During winnowing, the shells are removed by air flow leaving only the cocoa nibs. The cocoa nibs are then roasted which both sterilises the nibs and enhances the flavour. Once roasted the nibs are cooled and are ready for grinding. The action of physical grinding is all that is required to turn the solid nibs into a viscose liquid, by releasing cocoa fat (butter) from the nibs with the remaining cocoa solids held in suspension. Cocoa liquor usually passes through two or three stages of grinding to achieve the required “fineness” i.e. particle size of solid held in suspension. Cocoa liquor is the base ingredient for the manufacture of all chocolate.