Raw cocoa butter
stearic acid (24–37%), palmitic acid (24–30%), myristic acid, (0–4%), arachidic acid (1%), lauric acid (0–1%)
oleic acid (29–38%), palmitoleic acid (0–2%)
linoleic acid (0–4%),
α-Linolenic acid (0–1%)
|Food energy per 100 g (3.5 oz)||3,770 kilojoules (900 kcal)|
|Melting point||34.1 °C (93.4 °F), 35–36.5 °C (95.0–97.7 °F)|
|Solidity at 20 °C (68 °F)||solid|
|Iodine value||32.11–35.12, 35.575|
|Saponification value||191.214, 192.88–196.29|
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, as well as some ointments, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals. Cocoa butter has a cocoa flavor and aroma.
Composition and extraction
Cocoa butter contains a high proportion of saturated fats, derived from stearic and palmitic acids. Cocoa butter, unlike cocoa solids, has no more than trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine.
Cocoa butter is obtained from whole cocoa beans, which are fermented, roasted, and then separated from their hulls. About 54–58% of the residue is cocoa butter. Chocolate liquor is pressed to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids. The Broma process is used to extract cocoa butter from ground cacao beans. Cocoa butter is usually deodorized to remove its strong and undesirable taste.
Some food manufacturers substitute less expensive materials such as vegetable oils and fats (fillers and over-sized packaging) in place of cocoa butter. Several analytical methods exist for testing for diluted cocoa butter. Adulterated cocoa butter is indicated by its lighter color and its diminished fluorescence upon ultraviolet illumination. Unlike cocoa butter, adulterated fat tends to smear and have a higher non-saponifiable content.
Cocoa butter is a major ingredient in practically all types of chocolates (white chocolate, milk chocolate, but also dark chocolate). This application continues to dominate consumption of cocoa butter.
Pharmaceutical companies heavily use cocoa butter's physical properties. As a nontoxic solid at room temperature that melts at body temperature, it is considered an ideal base for medicinal suppositories.
Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known, a quality that, coupled with natural antioxidants, prevents rancidity, giving it a storage life of two to five years. The velvety texture, pleasant fragrance and emollient properties of cocoa butter have made it a popular ingredient in products for the skin, such as soaps and lotions.
The moisturizing abilities of cocoa butter are frequently recommended for prevention of stretch marks in pregnant women, treatment of chapped or burned skin and lips, and as a daily moisturizer to prevent dry, itchy skin. Cocoa butter's moisturizing properties are also said to be effective for treating mouth sores. However, the largest clinical study regarding the effects of cocoa butter on stretch marks in pregnant women found that results were no different from a placebo.
The most common form of cocoa butter has a melting point of around 34–38 °C (93–101 °F), rendering solid chocolate at room temperature that readily melts once inside the mouth. Cocoa butter displays polymorphism, having α, γ, β', and β crystals, with melting points of 17, 23, 26, and 35–37 °C respectively. The production of chocolate typically uses only the β crystal for its high melting point. A uniform crystal structure will result in smooth texture, sheen, and snap. Overheating cocoa butter converts the structure to a less stable form that melts below room temperature. Given time, it will naturally return to the most stable β crystal form. Advantage is taken of this phenomenon in the polymorphic transformation theory of chocolate bloom. It is based on the fact that bloomed chocolates are always found to contain the most stable polymorph of cocoa butter. According to this theory, bloom occurs through the uncontrolled polymorphic transformation of cocoa butter from a less stable form to the most stable form.
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- USDA nutrient database
- Cocoa butter pressing
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- O'Connor, Anahad (2009-09-15). "The Claim: Cocoa Butter Can Remove Stretch Marks". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30.