Adding hardfats to cocoa butter boosts heat resistance in chocolate that can melt in hot climates, according to new research.
An article by Ribeiro et al. in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology said that using hardfats, also known as fully hydrogenated oils, could improve lipid systems in chocolate to protect products from warm temperatures.
Warm climate benefits
“The use of hardfats allows for technological adjustment of cocoa butter formulations in terms of attributes like heat resistance and hardness, often necessary when commercialized in regions of warm climates or with large variation in temperature,” said the study.
Researcher evaluated five hardfats, palm kernel oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil and crambe oil, at concentrations of 1, 3 and 5%.
They found that all hardfats expect palm kernel oil could positively modify cocoa butter to up its thermal tolerance.
Adding palm oil, crambe oil and cottonseed oil at 3% and soybean oil at 1% was found to give consistency at desirable 30°C levels.
The melt temperature of the hardfats varied, with palm kernel oil exhibiting the lowest (36°C) and crambe oil the highest (72°C).
The average melt temperature for cocoa butter without hardfats t is around 34°C, based on previous studies.
Researchers used Brazilian cocoa butter from Barry Callebaut and sourced the hardfats from Cargill.
Previous attempts to improve the lipid structure in chocolate have included using free fatty acids, monoacylglycerols and emulsifiers.
Researchers in the present study said that while most of these additions improved attributes in the chocolate, chemical composition data of these additives was limited and their effects varied depending on the oil or fat to which they were added.
Cadbury recently applied for a patent on a process that it claims keeps chocolate from melting at 40°C. The process involves re-refining chocolate after the conching step. See HERE.
In 2009, Barry Callebaut developed Volcano , a heat-resistant chocolate that uses less cocoa butter to increase the melting point to 55°C.
Last year, UK confectioner Choc-o-Bloc introduced its answer to heat resistant chocolate with Magic Choc , a Play-Doh like chocolate that melts at 37°C.
Kraft Foods, which held Mondelez’s global snacks portfolio before a spin-off in October, was previously looking at a solution through packaging and was inviting suggestions from material suppliers. See HERE .
European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology
‘Effect of the addition of hardfats on the physical properties of cocoa butter’
Authors: Ana Paula Badan Ribeiro, Rodrigo Corrêa Basso, Theo Guenter Kieckbusch