Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The types of Cocoa Butter Alternatives and its physicochemical properties

Cocoa butter (CB) is a solid fat (melting point 32-35oC) with yellow light color and obtained from the seeds of cacao (Theobroma cacao), while some countries impose limits more specific, namely as a result of the pressing of cocoa nib after being separated from the shell (the process of winnowin). CB has a unique physicochemical characteristics, because its composition of triglyceride almost 80% dominated by three symmetric triglyceride (saturated-unsaturated-saturated) with oleic acid at sn-2 position, namely palmito-oleo-stearin (POS, 36-42%), stearo -oleo-stearin (SOS, 23-29%) and palmito-oleo-palmitin (POP, 13-19%).

As a consequence, the CB is hard and brittle below room temperature, but when eaten, CB completely melted in the mouth with a soft creamy texture and a soothing sensation. Therefore, in Confectionery industry, particularly chocolate-based products, the CB is an essential raw material that contributed to the textural and sensory properties of products.
However, there are many limitations associated with the use of CB, such as the supply is erratic, variability in quality, not suitable for application in hot climates and the prices are relatively expensive and fluctuate in comparison with other fats. In addition, that the chocolate products that fully utilize the CB requires tempering and prone to blooming. Therefore, efforts were made to develop a specialty fats as an alternative to the use of cocoa butter, both to replace in part or in whole of cocoa butter, which is known as Cocoa Butter Alternatives (CBA) that is also referred to as specialty fats, Confectionery fats or hard butter. CBA is usually classified into three types based on chemical composition and compatibility with CB, which is Cocoa Butter Equivalents (CBE), Cocoa Butter Substitutes (CBS) and Cocoa Butter Replacers (CBR).
CBE has physicochemical properties similar to the CB and is fully compatible with CB. CBE is designed to replace or be mixed with CB in any proportion without causing significant changes in the final quality of chocolate products, both its properties of melting, crystallization and rheology. While CBS is generally of lauric based fat which is not compatible with CB and have different chemical properties at all with CB, but some physical properties are similar, so CBS is only used as a replacement of CB. Meanwhile, the CBR has a similar distribution of fatty acids with CB, but its triglyceride structure is different, so, the fat can be compatible with CB in a small ratio only. CBR is generally based on non-lauric fats which have properties in between the CBE and CBS, so it is usually referred to as non-lauric CBS. CBE has a functionality which is highest among the three types of CBA. Therefore, the price of CBE is the least expensive among the three fat and CBS is the most inexpensive.
Palm oil and lauric oils can be used as a source of important raw materials in the development of the hard butter to get an economical cocoa butter alternative. Under the category of hard butter, lauric oils, particularly palm kernel oil and coconut oil, can be processed by interesterification and hydrogenation to produce lauric cocoa butter substitutes (CBS) that is good to eat and cheap.
Palm oil, has also been known to serve as raw materials in all types of cocoa butter alternatives, because the palm oil contains essential symmetrical triglycerides in the formulation of cocoa butter equivalent (CBE).

Related archieves:
Palm oil processing
Introduction to palm oil processing
Prospect of palm oil as a substitute for biofuel
Unsaturated fat benefit, types, and health risk

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