In the early 19th century, the Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten discovered that
the acid taste of cocoa was neutralized if he added alkali-potash to the nibs before they
were roasted. Ever since the end of the 19th century, all industrial chocolate makers have
practiced this alkalization process to modify the flavor and the color of the final product.
Another technical term for alkalization still used today is the ‘Dutch process’ or ‘Dutching’.