The secret of the Caramilk™ bar

How do they get the delicious flowing caramel into the Caramilk™ bar? It is a question that’s been asked since the chocolate bar was created more than 40 years ago. Christina Blais decided to walk us through a few possibilities.

A few clicks online is all it takes to discover three popular methods used by the confectionery industry to make various kinds of candy and chocolate with liquid centres. Which is the actual one used to insert the soft, flowing caramel into the Caramilk™ chocolate bar? It is impossible to be sure without personally visiting the Gladstone factory in Toronto (the only place in the world where Caramilk™ bars are made). But, according to reliable sources, it is definitely one of the following three. Here is a brief description of each process. Can you solve the mystery of how they get the caramel into the Caramilk™ bar? 

1. Pouring process in a chocolate mould

In this method, chocolate is poured into a mould that will form the top of the bar, the part that has cavities to hold the caramel. Once the chocolate solidifies, the cavities are filled with liquid caramel. The bar then passes under a jet of cold air to harden the surface of the caramel, then under another machine that melts the chocolate around the rim of the cavities so that the final layer of chocolate can be added. The bar is covered with melted chocolate which forms the base of the bar and seals the caramel inside. All that’s left to do is cool the bar and remove it from the mould. Is this how Caramilk™ bars are made? See the answer below.

2. Enzymatic process

In this method, solid caramel blocks are placed into the cavities of pre-formed chocolate moulds. Everything is sealed with a layer of melted chocolate that forms the base of the bar. An enzyme added to the caramel gradually converts the solid caramel into liquid, creamy caramel after a few days. The enzyme (called invertase) has the ability to liquefy the sugar present in caramel, separating it into its two parts, glucose and fructose. 

3. One-shot pouring process

In this method, chocolate and caramel are simultaneously injected into the bar mould, hence the term “one-shot” process. Melted chocolate flows through a pipe. This pipe contains another, smaller pipe through which liquid caramel flows. A series of these double pipes is suspended vertically above the bar mould and positioned on top of each cavity. When it is comes time to fill the mould, chocolate starts to pour a split second before the caramel. This allows a thin layer of chocolate to line the bottom of the mould. Caramel then starts to pour (at the same time as the chocolate) to form the liquid centre. The caramel flow stops a fraction of a second before the chocolate which continues to flow to form the top layer of the bar (which is actually the bottom of the bar). All that’s left to do is cool the bar and remove it from the mould.

Did you know?

  • The Caramilk™ chocolate bar is a Canadian creation. It celebrated its 40th birthday in October 2008.
  • The Cadbury Gladstone Chocolate Factory in downtown Toronto is the only place in the world where Caramilk™ is made. The plant makes 700,000 Caramilk™ chocolate bars each day.
  • Canadians savour 33 million of the bars every year.

Christina Blais

For Christina Blais, explaining food chemistry to the masses is as simple as making a good omelet. Holding a Bachelor and Master degree in Nutrition, she has been a part-time lecturer for over 30 years in the Department of Nutrition at the Université de Montréal, where she teaches food science courses. She has been sharing the fruits of her experience with Ricardo since 2001, during his daily show broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé. And diehards can also read her Food Chemistry on our website. You can follow her on Facebook at @Encuisineavecchristinablais.