Cocoa butter

Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter

Raw cocoa butter

Fat composition
Saturated fats 57-64%: stearic acid (24-37%), capric acid (0-10%), myristic acid, (0-4%), arachidic acid (1%), lauric acid (0-1%)
Unsaturated fats 36-43%
    Monounsaturated fats 29-43% (29-38% oleic acid, 35–41% palmitoleic acid), 0-2%
    Polyunsaturated fats 0-5% (linoleic acid, 0–3%, 1-4%, Linolenic acid (0-1%)

Food energy per 100g 3770 kJ (900 kcal)
Melting point 34.1 °C (93.4 °F), 35–36.5 °C (95–98 °F)
Solidity at 20 °C solid
Refractive index 1.44556-1.44573
Iodine value 32.11-35.12, 35.575
Acid value 1.68
Saponification value 191.214, 192.88-196.29

Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil or theobroma cacao, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, baked goods as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries.[1] Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma.


Composition and extraction

Cocoa butter has a high content of saturated fats derived from stearic and palmitic acids.[2][3] Cocoa butter, unlike cocoa solids, has no more than trace amounts of caffeine and theobromine.[4]

The main constituent of cocoa butter is the triglyceride (fat) derived from palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acids.

Cocoa butter is obtained from either whole cacao 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.[5] 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.[6]


Some food manufacturers substitute less expensive materials such as vegetable oils and fats in place of cocoa butter. (See false advertising). Several analytical methods exist for testing for diluted cocoa butter. Adulterated cocoa butter is indicated by its lighter colour and its diminished fluorescence upon ultraviolet illumination. Unlike cocoa butter, adulterated fat tends to smear and have a higher non saponifiable content.[7]


Cocoa butter is the major ingredient in the commercial production of both white chocolate and milk chocolate. This application continues to dominate consumption of cocoa butter.

Pharmaceutical companies exploit 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.

Niche uses

Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known, a quality that coupled with natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity, grants 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 cosmetics, soaps and lotions.

The moisturizing abilities of cocoa butter are frequently recommended for prevention of stretch marks in pregnant women, treatment of chapped skin and lips, and as a daily moisturizer to prevent dry, itchy skin. However, the largest clinical study regarding the effects of cocoa butter on stretch marks in pregnant women found that results were no different from placebo.[8]

Physical properties

The most common form of cocoa butter has a melting point of around 34-38 °C (93-100 °F), rendering chocolate a solid 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. This phenomenon is taken advantage of 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.


  1. ^ "Cocoa butter – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica Encyclopedia article. July 1998. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  2. ^ Liendo, Rigel; Fanny C. Padilla and Agricia Quintana (November 1997). "Characterization of cocoa butter extracted from Criollo cultivars of Theobroma cacao L.". Food Research International 30 (9): 727–731. doi:10.1016/S0963-9969(98)00025-8. 
  3. ^ El-Saied, Hani M.; M. K. Morsi, and M. M. A. Amer (June 1981). "Composition of cocoa shell fat as related to cocoa butter". Zeitschrift für Ernährungswissenschaft 20 (2): 145–151. doi:10.1007/BF02021260. 
  4. ^ USDA nutrient database
  5. ^ Cocoa butter pressing
  6. ^ The Nibble. "The World’s Best White Chocolate Page 3: Percent Cacao & Cocoa Butter". Retrieved 2009-03-03. 
  7. ^ Alfred Thomas (2002). "Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry". Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. doi:10.1002/14356007.a10_173. ISBN 3527306730. 
  8. ^ O'Connor, Anahad (2009-09-15). "The Claim: Cocoa Butter Can Remove Stretch Marks". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cocoa butter — n. a yellowish white fat prepared from cacao seeds: used in pharmacy and in making cosmetics and chocolate candies * * * also called  theobroma oil        pale yellow, edible vegetable fat obtained from cocoa beans, having a mild chocolate… …   Universalium

  • cocoa butter — cocoa ,butter noun uncount a type of fat made from cocoa beans and used in making chocolate, COSMETICS, and soap …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cocoa butter — ► NOUN ▪ a fatty substance obtained from cocoa beans, used in making confectionery and cosmetics …   English terms dictionary

  • cocoa butter — or cacao butter n a pale vegetable fat obtained from cacao beans that is used in the manufacture of chocolate candy, in cosmetics as an emollient, and in pharmacy for making suppositories called also theobroma oil …   Medical dictionary

  • cocoa butter — cocoa .butter n [U] a fat obtained from the seeds of a tropical tree, used in making some ↑cosmetics …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cocoa butter — n. a yellowish white fat prepared from cacao seeds: used in pharmacy and in making cosmetics and chocolate candies …   English World dictionary

  • cocoa butter — noun 1. a yellow white fat from cocoa beans • Hypernyms: ↑fat 2. the vegetable fat from the cacao that is extracted from chocolate liquor; the basis for white chocolate • Hypernyms: ↑chocolate • Substance Holonyms: ↑white chocolate * * * noun… …   Useful english dictionary

  • cocoa butter — kakavos aliejus statusas T sritis augaliniai riebalai apibrėžtis Iš tikrųjų kakavmedžių (Theobroma cacao) sėklų spaudžiamas aliejus. atitikmenys: angl. cocoa butter vok. Kakaobutter, f rus. какао масло pranc. beurre de cacao ryšiai: sinonimas –… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • cocoa butter — noun The fat that is extracted from the cocoa bean to make chocolate; it has a relatively sharp melting point so does not feel greasy when eaten …   Wiktionary

  • cocoa butter — fatty substance produced from cocoa seeds …   English contemporary dictionary

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