The International Chocolate Awards were founded in 2012 and are run by IICCT with a group of independent international partners with years of experience tasting and evaluating chocolate and running fine chocolate related events. Judges are drawn from sensory experts and members of the IICCT Alumni. Competitions are held in a growing number of countries and regions around the world in bean-to-bar and craft chocolatier rounds. Winners of the regional competitions are judged together at the World Final, which celebrates the best entries of the year.
The most important thing about chocolate is whether you enjoy it or not, which of course is a totally subjective opinion.
So when we’re judging, we follow the ‘pleasure principle’,
how a chocolate makes you feel. Only after we’ve captured our like/dislike reaction, do we start to look
for more nuanced attributes like complexity, balance and
This is all based on how the brain works while tasting chocolate. We then use the IICCT Flavor Profile map and judging system, which was built using a neural network and research into how the flavors in different foods are related.
We then use what we call ‘managed subjectivity’ – advanced statistical analysis – to put this all together from our judges blinded individual evaluations to create an overall score.
Europe, Middle East, Africa