A package of milk cocoa powder contains "20% cocoa powder, sugar, emulsifier (soya lecithin), flavouring (vanillin)". I have tried to make cocoa milk drinks to cold milk but the cocoa stuck to the top and the sugar goes to the bottom. With the ready-milk-powder, things go more to the milk more stabily. What is the trick with the manufacturers? Can I do it myself? I have noticed that the ready-cocoa powder contains much smaller sugar particles to my sugar, apparently they use some sort of special sugar, what is that and how can I get such sugar of such fine size?

For me, the price of cocoa is 12 EUR per kg. I do not like the ready made powders (although their kg price is about 5EUR per kg but 20% cocoa content), I like more cocoa. I have heated the drinks and the cocoa and sugar does not stick so much to the top and bottom but my home-made drinks are strikingly different to the manufactured. What is the emulsifier and where can I get it? Is it the trick how the cocoa/sugar -mixture forms more uniformly in the drink?

  • 2
    Do you for any reason insist on using an involved process for creating a powder which dissolves like commercial drink powder? Because if not, you can just use pure cocoa powder and, if you want to, regular sugar (I leave it out completely). In the second case, your question is a duplicate of cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/8274/…. The first case is very hard to make at home and not worth the effort (if you can create a high cocoa proportion with it at all, which I doubt).
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:13
  • rumtscho: Thank you for the link, +1, but it does not cover the emulsion part and fine sized sugar, I think I can make better drinks by using different sugar. Finer sugar multiplies the area so it should be more soluble even in cold liquid.
    – user2954
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:31
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    The method described in the linked question ensures that your sugar will be 100% dissolved. The problem with the solubility of the whole thing isn't the sugar, it is the cocoa powder itself. It clumps easily in liquid, just like flour. If you want to have a powder with instant solubility, you'll have to imitate what the industry does (at least disperse the cocoa in a soluble filler substance, maybe also pregelatinize its starch, adding emulsifier will help too) and will end up with something similar to their product (more filler than cocoa).
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 17:47
  • rumtscho: what is the filler made of? Is it more healthy to eat filled cocoa or non-filled cocoa? Can I do fillers myself?
    – user2954
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 19:48
  • 1
    Fillers are mostly different sugars and starches. I think that dextrose is the most common in cocoa drinks. As for healthy, if you ask three experts, you'll get five opinions. My position is that with filler is worse, because it is empty calories. But you reduce the sat. fats with it. You can't make fillers, just like you can't make sugar. You can buy them, but I don't see the point, as the end result will be the same or worse than store bought drinks. Unless somebody offers a different trick, I'd say either buy ready drinks, or take the time to dissolve the real cocoa powder.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jul 28, 2011 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


I do not think your problem is an emulsifier that you are missing, I think it's just basic temperature and technique 'issues'.

Firstly, you will get a better result if you use a liquid chocolate syrup. It's like adding granulated sugar to an iced coffee - it will sweeten the cold liquid a bit, but most of the grains will just get wet and clump together at the bottom and not mix together. That's why using a simple syrup is a better idea, because the solid elements (sugar) have already been incorporated into a liquid form so the cold temperature won't be a detriment to mixing.

However, if you really want to keep using (or not waste) your existing cocoa, you have a few options. You can make a slurry of the cocoa powder. Get a container that can be sealed well and add maybe a teaspoon of the cocoa mix to 3 or 4 tablespoons of milk and shake it vigorously. Once it is well mixed, you can add more cocoa, and more milk as needed to keep it totally liquid. After it is fully incorporated, stir it into the rest of your milk and it should mix completely.

This other method may not work for cold milk, but it is how I make smooth hot cocoa without having to make a slurry. I take a good quality cocoa and put it in a small bowl and then add granulated sugar - the ratio isn't vital (and I like a sweet, very chocolatey cocoa), but it does have to be enough sugar to fully incorporate with the smooth, powdery cocoa. Basically I am looking to use the grains of sugar to break up the potential clumps of cocoa by having the mixture as thoroughly incorporated as possible, and then stirring very thoroughly as well. I prefer glass mugs so that I can see that I've gotten all that's fallen to the bottom.

I hope this helps.

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