Cocoa Butter Alternatives
Traditionally, cocoa butter was the only vegetable fat used in chocolate products. Cocoa butter provides to the chocolate the much-appreciated characteristics such as crunchiness at room temperature, sharp melting behaviour, high gloss, long shelf life and good flavour release.
However cocoa butter, being a natural raw material, also has a number of disadvantages :
Cocoa butter is an expensive raw material, with prices fluctuating strongly.
Cocoa butter based products require tempering.
Melting properties are not ideal for all applications and climates
Varying product quality (e.g. depending on the origin)
Limited gloss retention (blooming)
Because of these economical and technical considerations, many efforts have been made to develop specialty fats to substitute cocoa butter. These cocoa butter alternatives can be divided in three groups each with different characteristics.