Cocoa butter equivalents

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As cocoa butter equivalents ( English Cocoa butter equivalents , CBE ) substances are designated which have similar chemical and physical properties such as cocoa butter have. Therefore, cocoa butter and CBEs can be mixed in any ratio. Mainly be palm oil , shea butter and illipe , rare sal , kokum or mango oil used as CBEs. The use of CBEs was originally intended for chocolate . Cocoa butter equivalents can be used in chocolate in addition to cocoa butter, for example to change the melting behavior and prevent fat bloom . In addition, some CBEs, such as palm oil , are cheaper than pure cocoa butter. Another area of ​​application is the compensation of natural fluctuations in the chemical composition of cocoa butter, which shows different nutritional composition and crystallization behavior depending on the cultivation region. The addition of industrially produced cocoa butter equivalents can level out these fluctuations within certain limits. This will make chocolate manufacturers more flexible when it comes to choosing cocoa butter. In the European Union and Switzerland, the use of cocoa butter equivalents in chocolate products is subject to labeling. The substances known as CBEs are also used in the cosmetics industry. In addition to the abbreviation CBE there are other abbreviations for substances similar to cocoa butter, such as CBI (“I” for improvers), CBR (“R” for replacers), CBS (“S” for substitutes) and CBA (“A” for alternative).

Legal classification

For the European Union , the vegetable fats that may be added to cocoa butter in cocoa and chocolate products are listed in Annex II of Directive 2000/36 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on cocoa and chocolate products for human consumption of 23 June Established in 2000. Annex 6 of the Ordinance of the Federal Department of Home Affairs on types of sugar, sweet foods and cocoa products is identical. The European regulation arose from the different national regulations that existed until then by adopting the less restrictive practice with simultaneous compulsion to mark the addition in a conspicuous manner. Historically, only cocoa butter was permitted for cocoa and chocolate products in the EEC until the first enlargement with the accession of the United Kingdom, Ireland and Denmark in 1973. However, the acceding countries, in which the addition of other vegetable fats was permitted, achieved that from now on the sale of products with the addition of other vegetable fats to cocoa butter could be regulated by national legislation. A first attempt to bring about a uniform EU regulation failed in 1984. Of the countries that acceded after 1973 until the directive came into force in 2000 ( EU-15 ), Greece and Spain also prohibited the addition of fats other than cocoa butter.

In Germany, the EU directive is implemented by the regulation on cocoa and chocolate products (cocoa regulation) of December 15, 2003. The permitted fats are:

Common name for vegetable fats Scientific name of the plants,

from which the fats shown here can be obtained

Illipe butter (Borneo Valley or Tengkawang) Shorea spp.
Palm oil Elaeis guineensis
Anointing butter Shorea robusta
Shea butter Vitellaria paradoxa
Cocum butter Garcinia indica
Mango seed oil Mangifera indica

In addition, the use of coconut oil is only permitted in chocolate for ice cream and similar frozen products. The added amount of cocoa butter substitutes in the end product must not exceed 5%. Added CBEs must be clearly identified on the packaging.

Cocoa butter equivalents

Cocoa butter is high in palmitic and stearic acid . Both are saturated fat . Cocoa butter has a melting point between 30 and 40 ° C, is relatively hard and crystallizes with pronounced polymorphism . Since the cocoa butter equivalents have a similar fatty acid composition, they also have the properties mentioned and are therefore used as substitutes for cocoa butter.

Shea butter

light, refined shea butter

The shea nut tree (shea tree) Vitellaria paradoxa provides the berries from whose seeds the shea butter is obtained. The crushed seeds are treated with steam. This ruptures cells that are still intact. By denaturation of a portion of the proteins, enzymes are inactivated. The temperature is chosen in such a way that no undesirable coloring or flavoring substances are created. Whether the oil is obtained by pressing or extraction depends on the fat content of the seeds. The raw fat obtained is filtered to remove plant residues, mucilage and proteins .

Palm oil

The palm oil (palm fat) is obtained from the pulp of the fruit of the oil palm Elaeis guineensis . The oil palm is mainly cultivated in West Malaysia , Nigeria and Indonesia . The fruits are treated with hot steam to inactivate the high lipase activity and to separate the pulp and core. After the pulp has been crushed and pressed, the oil obtained is clarified by centrifugation, washed with hot water and dried. The crude product , which is yellow to red in color due to its high carotene content, is refined , whereby it is discolored and freed from free fatty acids.

Illipé butter

Shea nuts

Illipé butter is of two types.

The former is obtained from the seeds of Shorea macrophylla and Shorea stenoptera and is also known as Borneo Valley, Tengkawang or Engkabang. The tree grows mainly in East Malaysia and Kalimantan and the butter is used there as household fat. Illipé comes from Tamil and means nut. Since the Illipe butter is a seed fat, the fat production takes place in the same way as the shea butter.

The latter is obtained from the seeds of Madhuca longifolia (Syn .: Madhuca latifolia , Illipe latifolia , Bassia latifolia ) and is also known as Indian Illipé butter or Mowrah butter . It can be used similarly to that from Shorea macrophylla and is also used as edible fat in the country of origin, India.

Sal fat

The sal fat is obtained from the seeds of the sal tree ( Shorea robusta ).

Cocum butter

Cocum butter is extracted from the seed core of the cocum tree ( Garcinia indica ). The cocum butter is tallowy, white to pale yellow and somewhat brittle. At the beginning of the 20th century it was used to make soap.

Mango kernel fat

Mango kernel oil is obtained from the seeds of the mango fruit ( Mangifera indica ).


The tasks of fat analysis are the identification and quantification of the type of fat, the detection of additives and the determination of other parameters such as the degree of lipolysis , auto-oxidation and the degree of thermal stress.

Determination of the triacylglyceride composition by means of gas chromatography

Cocoa butter is rich in symmetrically monounsaturated triacylglycerides of the SUS type, where S stands for saturated and U stands for unsaturated (unsaturated). The three most important triacylglycerides in cocoa butter are POP, POS and SOS (P: palmitic acid, O: oleic acid, S: stearic acid). When using the CBEs, an almost identical triacylglyceride composition is crucial.

Triacylglyceride composition [%] of the pure oils:

Cocoa butter Palm oil Shea butter Illipé butter Anointing butter Cocum butter Mango seed oil
POP 16 26th <1 7th --- In tracks 6th
POS 37 3 6th 34 10 6th 13
SOS 26th --- 30th 45 35 72 19th
total 79 29 37 86 53 78 39

Cocoa butter contains 80% triacylglycerides of the SUS type. The table shows that only the pure oils of Illipé and cocum butter contain this content.
In order to be able to use palm oil, shea butter, ointment butter and mango kernel oil as CBEs, the suitable total SUS content of 80% is achieved by fractionating the pure oils.

Triacylglyceride composition [%] after fractionation:

Cocoa butter Palm oil Shea butter Illipé butter Anointing butter Cocum butter Mango seed oil
POP 16 66 1 7th In tracks In tracks 1
POS 37 12 7th 34 10 6th 16
SOS 26th 3 74 45 60 72 59
total 79 81 82 86 82 78 76

The triacylglycerides are isolated and identified and quantified by gas chromatography .

Distribution of fatty acids using the boron trifluoride method

The triacylglycerides are saponified using methanolic sodium hydroxide solution . The free fatty acids obtained are esterified with the aid of boron trifluoride reagent. The sample is diluted in n-hexane and then used for gas chromatographic determination. The qualification of the individual fatty acids takes place via the retention times , the quantification via the peak areas.

This method is standardized according to DGF C-VI 11d.

Cocoa butter Palm oil Shea butter Illipé butter
Average fatty acid distribution (% by weight)
16: 0 25th 44 7th 28
18: 0 37 5 38 14th
18: 1 (9) 34 39 50 49
18: 2 (9, 12) 3 10 5 9
Melting ranges [° C] 28-36 23-30 23-42 24.5-28.5

The melting areas take into account the pronounced polymorphism; the upper temperature is the melting point of the stable modification.

Further analysis methods

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f g h i j H.-D. Belitz , W. Grosch , P. Schieberle (ed.): Textbook of food chemistry. 6th edition, Springer, Berlin, 2007.
  2. a b H. Kattenberg (Ed.): Cocoa butter and its functions. ADM Cocoa BV, Postbus 2, NL-1540 AA Koog aan de Zaan.
  3. Directive 2000/36 / EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 23, 2000 on cocoa and chocolate products for human consumption.
  4. Appendix 6 of the Ordinance of the Federal Department of the Interior on Sugar Types, Sweet Foods and Cocoa Products ( Memento of the original from January 23, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  5. Article 14 of Council Directive 73/241 / EEC (PDF) of July 24, 1973 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to cocoa and chocolate products intended for human consumption
  6. BBC News: Sweet victory for UK chocolate .
  7. ^ Ordinance on cocoa and chocolate products
  8. a b Robert Ebermann, Ibrahim Elmadfa: Textbook food chemistry and nutrition . Springer, Vienna 2007, ISBN 978-3-211-48649-8 , pp. 527-528 ( limited preview in Google Book search).
  9. Michael Bockisch (ed.): Dietary fats and oils. Ulmer Verlag, 1993.
  10. Kalanithi Nesaretnam, Abdul Razak bin Mohad Ali (ed.): Engkabang (illipe) - an excellent component for cocoa butter equivalent fat. In: Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture. 1992, ISSN  0022-5142 .
  11. ^ AR Md Ali (ed.): Effect of co-fractionation technique in the preparation of palm-oil and sal fat-based cocoa butter equivalent. In: International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 1996, ISSN  0963-7486 .
  12. a b Manuela Buchgraber, Simona Androni, Elke Anklam (eds.): Determination of Cocoa Butter Equivalents in Milk Chocolate by Triacylglycerol Profiling. In: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . 2007, ISSN  0021-8561 .
  13. G. Talbot (Ed.): Fractionation and use of CBE component fats . In: Society of Chemical Industry 'Fractionation' Conference, Ghent, Belgium . November 2005.
  14. R. Matissek, G. Steiner (Ed.): Food analysis. 3rd edition, Springer, Berlin / Heidelberg / New York, 2006.
  15. M. Buchgraber, E. Anklam: Validated method: Method description for the quantification of cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate. 2003, EUR 20831 EN.
  16. Manuela Buchgraber, Franz Ulberth, Elke Anklam (Eds.): Validated method: Cluster Analysis for the Systematic Grouping of Genuine Cocoa Butter and Cocoa Butter Equivalent Samples Based on Triglyceride Patterns. In: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2004, ISSN  0021-8561 .
  17. Jorge E. Spangenberg, Fabiola Dionisi (Ed.): Characterization of Cocoa Butter and Cocoa Butter Equivalents by Bulk and Molecular Carbon Isotope Analyzes: Implications for Vegetable Fat Quantification in Chocolate. In: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2001, ISSN  0021-8561 .
  18. Fabiola Dionisi, Pierre-Alain Golay, Bernadette Hug et al. (Ed.): Triacylglycerol Analysis for the Quantification of Cocoa Butter Equivalents (CBE) in Chocolate: Feasibility Study and Validation. In: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2004, ISSN  0021-8561 .