Chocolate without cocoa butter: The changing scenario

Chocolate without cocoa butter: The changing scenario

Chocolate is the all time favorite dish for people of all ages. Can anyone imagine fish living out of water? Just the same is chocolate without cocoa butter. If chocolate is magic to your palate, then part of that magic is yielded by cocoa butter. So, what is indeed the most magical thing about chocolates? Their taste or the fact that they melt in our mouths? Well, cocoa butter is precisely the ingredient that gives both these to any chocolate.

Chocolate is indeed, a magical substance for mankind and what makes it magical is the wonderful cocoa butter forming a part of it.

Can we make chocolate without cocoa butter? Straight answer is – we cannot! Cocoa butter is a major ingredient in any chocolate. Cocoa butter gives the creamy taste to chocolates and makes them melt in mouth. The very making of chocolate starts only after the arrival of cocoa beans from the cocoa growing countries. Right from the birth of chocolate it has been smoothed out with the elixir called cocoa butter, an emulsified form of cacao that gives the finished product its silky texture.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration, the federal arbiter of food standards, commands that a product can’t lawfully be labeled as chocolate unless cocoa butter is part of the formula and no other vegetable fat is allowed to replace its place. But because of drought and political violence in the Ivory Coast, a major source for cacao beans, the price of cocoa butter has skyrocketed. This has stimulated some of the major chocolate makers to corridor the F.D.A. with a trade-group petition for a transformation that would allow them to substitute such cheaper ingredients such as vegetable oil and dried milk for cocoa butter and still call their products chocolate.

Fear of chocolate lovers:
Chocolate purists are frightened regarding this substitution of cheaper vegetable oils for cocoa butter that could lead to health hazards. Cocoa butter has an unique property that chocolate lovers adore. The natural fragrance and creamy taste give a luxurious feel to the chocolate.

Karen Hochman, the editorial director of food magazine ‘The Nibble’ told the FDA, “I’m vehemently opposed to allowing a vegetable-oil product to be called ‘chocolate.’.. the organic and natural food industry is growing at 15% a year because Americans want better ingredients for themselves and their family, not cheaper substitutes like vegetable oil for cocoa butter. No one would willingly eat or give their families vegetable-oil chocolate who were eating authentic cocoa-butter chocolate.”

Vegetable oils and other cheaper supplements: In the making of chocolates, no other supplement can replace cocoa butter, even though these supplements have their own advantages. Vegetable oils could cost less resulting in savings for companies and consumers. Certain industry representatives also say that there are vegetable oils that could even be healthier.

Chocolate symbolizes many things for many people – it brings back childhood days, extremely joyous moments, friendship, love, gratitude, respect, intimate pleasure, cherished moments and all together unlimited happiness. Such a special momentum should be enjoyed in it’s original and natural way just with the presence of cocoa butter in it.

Thus a chocolate without cocoa butter would be a jelly fish existence, where the jelly fish would die the moment it is removed from water.

Posted in Chocolate Making, Uses of Cocoa Butter on Oct 4th, 2010, 7:07 am by jjones   

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