Cocoa butter and cocoa solids

ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/28/08 08:01:06AM
251 posts

Hans has a very thought provoking article in Cocoa Content called "Why cocoa content matters".

In it he shows a very insightful way to determine the amount of cocoa butter. Here's the essence of it:Cocoa content only tells you how much of the bars weight is comprised of cocoa solids. Now, its important to understand that cocoa solids refers to the chocolates combined weight of cocoa butter and dry cocoa particles (i.e. cocoa powder). You can find the amount of cocoa butter from the amount of fat, though. Once you have that you can determine the percentage of the rest of the solids.Follow these steps from the nutrition label:

  1. Note the serving size, since it varies.
  2. Note the Total Fat The Fat is from cocoa butter
  3. Divide the Total Fat by the Serving size (Fat/Size), then multiply by 100 to get the percentage of fat
  4. Subtract the percentage of fat from the cacao percentage and the difference will tell you what percentage of the bar consists of dry cocoa solids.

Cocoa butter percentage + cocoa solids percentage = Total cacao percentage.For example, consider a bar of Lindt Excellence 70%. The Nutrition Facts show the serving size as 42g, with 17g of fat. Divide 17 by 42 and multiply the result by 100, and youll get 40. This means theres 40% cocoa butter. Subtract that number from 70, which in this case is 30% dry cocoa solids . (40 + 30 = 70)

What do you think of this?


updated by @chocofiles: 04/10/15 07:06:03AM
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/28/08 08:03:26AM
251 posts

Here are a few questions that came to my mind about this:

Does any other part of cocoa contribute fat?Is cocoa butter 100% fat? If its not, then there is even more cocoa butter than the fat content shows.

What are the typical weights (or percentages) of soy lecithin and vanilla? These must use some part of the cocoa total, but maybe its negligible.

ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/28/08 11:28:41AM
251 posts
My ultimate objective with this is to take another step forward in my quest for finding great chocolate. I'm wondering if any correlation can be drawn between the amount of cocoa butter and the quality of the chocolate.My initial impression is that there isn't any direct correlation, especially since added cocoa butter is sometimes used to mask inferior beans.What do you think?
Hans
@hans
06/28/08 02:40:57PM
14 posts
Yeah, you really can't say that extra cocoa butter is cutting corners because cocoa butter is pretty pricey. I've noticed that it can be used to muffle the flavor of bad beans and to improve texture of bars. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if makers add cocoa butter solely to appeal to a certain clientele, namely those who favor texture over flavor and to ease the transition into higher percentages for those folks who are just too reticent of going that route. Cocoa butter is a better way of doing that than a stronger 60%-class bar because you don't get excess sugar in the way. At least with cocoa butter, you taste more of the cacao even if it is subdued.
Edward
@edward
06/28/08 10:14:22PM
22 posts
Lindt, sadly only uses vanillin. The amount of vanilla is less than 1% for almost every chocolate mnfctr.Soy lecithin is not absolutely neccesary. Although lecithin is used as an emulsifier, in very small quantities it makes the product thinner. In other words it mimics the use of more cocoa butter. However only 1/2 of 1% is usually added
cybele
@cybele
06/29/08 12:01:19AM
37 posts
I'm one of those "certain clientele" who likes creamy chocolate. I have no idea what I means, but I'm pretty sure it's code for uneducated consumer. I'm extremely well educated, but I still like my cacao fat in my chocolate bar.
Hans
@hans
06/29/08 03:23:45AM
14 posts
I like a creamy texture just as much as the next person, but I know some folks who downright dislike a chocolate just because the texture is slightly off. Think about it this way. The average person on the street, when asked to describe a bar of chocolate, tends to mention texture first and then flavor, which could be attributable to a number of things:1) cocoa butter's low melting point causes the texture to be noticed first2) chocolate's flavor takes some time to fully develop, so to render a final opinion before the flavor develops is not really useful3) natural preference towards fatty foodsSo, if a company wishes to target a particular audience, that's fine--by no means does it infer that the product is only intended for that audience because everyone has different tastes for different reasons. I still eat M&M's whenever I can :)
Brady
@brady
06/29/08 11:31:17PM
42 posts
Alot of companies don't have the nutritional information on the package either. It's my understanding that different bean types have different cacao solid/cacao butter ratio but 54% percent cocoa butter per bean is considered the average. In this way you could calculate the amount of cacao solids in a bar without fat content indicated on the package. A rough estimate of 50% is even easier to calculate. I forget which beans have more fat but I think it is forastero from Ghana. At least I remember that the butter content in those beans is supposed to be harder, which makes them more suitable for milk bars.
El Castillo del Cacao
@el-castillo-del-cacao
06/30/08 12:24:59AM
2 posts
My whole problem with the cacao butter and cocoa powder discussion is this:If you want to make chocolate, why take out the butter at all?One might destroy all kinds of properties of the original oils. And if you dont need cacao butter for something else..there is no problem.We leave everything as is. Just mill the cacao with sugar.Its fine
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/30/08 06:48:55AM
251 posts
QUOTE: "The best tasting chocolate I have ever had has zero soya lecithin and a high fat content. "Gwen,What chocolate is that?
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/30/08 07:00:57AM
251 posts
QUOTE: "This is why I don't understand the suggestion that fat masks flavor."I was certainly not implying that this is a general principle. The idea of fat masking flavor is probably only true in a few instances. Hans has said elsewhere that Hachez uses excessive cocoa butter to cover poor quality beans. That was what I was referring to, but it's the only incident that I'm aware of.I was also not implying that a high fat content is necessarily bad. It may be that a higher fat content makes a chocolate better. I'm just wondering if there is any relationship at all. I suspect that there's a minimum amount of cocoa butter needed for a proper mouthfeel.Anyway, with the chocolate I'm tasting I've started to track the fat/ cocoa butter content when the information is available. I'm curious to see how the cocoa butter content correlates with my preferences.
Alan McClure
@alan-mcclure
06/30/08 05:01:01PM
73 posts
Steve DeVries was roasting organic cocoa beans prior to the existence of Theo, and still is, and to the best of my knowledge, Taza was roasting organic cocoa in the US when the comment above was written. Now several other small companies in the US also use organic cacao, which they roast, in some products.As someone pointed out recently, if superlatives are to be used at all, then fact-checking is of the utmost importance.
Hans
@hans
06/30/08 05:41:24PM
14 posts
Gwen, you're assuming cacao particle content remains constant when it doesn't. Normally fat does carry flavor but in the case of chocolate, when you add cocoa butter to a recipe, you need to remove cacao solids or sugar to compensate. So, you decrease the cacao solids as a result, which reduces the overall intensity of the chocolate's flavor. Hope that clarifies things a bit :)
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/30/08 07:11:21PM
251 posts
I just read this by Alan McClure of Patric and thought it was relevant to this discussion..."Sometimes if the cocoa beans have too low an amount of cocoa butteras in the case of low quality cacaococoa butter must be added,". (Read it on the Patric blog.)
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
06/30/08 07:19:43PM
251 posts
Another one from Alan McClure on the same blog..."In fact, it is possible, for example, to have a 74% bar that has less cacao--due to added cocoa butter--and is therefore less robust in flavor, than a 71% bar with no cocoa butter added."I know that for many of you this is nothing new, but I'm posting this for the sake of those like myself who are newer to this chocolate world and still have lots to learn.
Hans
@hans
06/30/08 09:04:53PM
14 posts
Gwen, I think you misunderstood me. I wasn't implying that the weight of certain types of sugars is important but rather how much of the bar's weight is comprised of sugar, especially in relation to cocoa butter and cacao particles (which, again, is irrespective of type of sugar; a ton of feathers is the same weight as a ton of bricks).
Edward
@edward
07/01/08 11:53:06AM
22 posts
I think that sugar is the perfect medium to increase WEIGHT without increasing volume.When you make sugar syrup and add sugar to the water, the water level hardly rises. With meringues you are gaining volume by beating in air.
Hans
@hans
07/01/08 03:33:04PM
14 posts
Gwen, unless you're suggesting that you can compress a given amount of sugar and incorporate the mass into chocolate liquor so as to make more room for cocoa solids (butter and particles), then what you really get is more chocolate to be packaged and sold. You get heavier mass, in other words, and I'm not certain how the sugar would interact with the cocoa solids but from what I've seen, chocolate makers don't make a big science out of it. They just add sugar and incorporate.A Cluizel bar containing 60% cocoa butter? That seems unlikely; not even Hachez has that much. I have a bar of Cluizel's Tamarina 70% here and it includes a nutrition label printed (not adhered) on the box. The bar, according to my calculations, is 42.5% fat (17g of fat per 40g of chocolate), so combined with the 30% sugar, we get a remaining ~30% in cocoa particles.I'm not sure I understand what you mean by increasing the volume of a chocolate bar. Is this similar to increasing volume in a meringue? Are you implying you make the chocolate mass fluffier, more airy?
Brady
@brady
07/01/08 09:46:22PM
42 posts
Olorin- The discussion has went in another direction, but I found some things tonight that might interest you. (Taken from Cocoa by Wood and Lass): Fat(cocoa butter) content of a bean is normally between 45- 65% of a dry bean. Most forasteros fall between 55-59% and criollo beans have a lower content of about 53%. Fat content of the bean also varies according to the growing season or environment. Beans developing during a dry season have a lower fat content.
Edward
@edward
07/01/08 11:08:58PM
22 posts
No, I meant sugar by itself doesn't add volume.Try it for yourself: Fill a measuring cup 3/4 full of water and start dumping sugar in. You can put more sugar than the amount of water in. No heat required, no evaporation loss. I can beat butter with a whisk and gain incredible amounts of volume without adding anything, (a'la "light" or "Diet" butter...) same for eggwhites--as in hot savoury souffles. (although I need sugar for stability in meringues and cold applications) Cotton candy is spun through a tiny orifice at high speeds, it's the gaps and spaces inbetween the tiny spun threads that account for the volume. (this principle is used for fiberglass insulation--it's the air trapped between the spun glass that provide the r-value or insulation, not the spun glass)Sugar by itself doesn't add volume.What percentage of sugar does Cluizel use in his products? I must confess, I've never tried his stuff yet, there are enough places to buy it around here though.Sugar is cheaper than chocolate, which is why the "cheaper" mnfctrs dump the stuff, up to 60% of sugar, in the cheap chocolate. The "good" mnfctrs only add enough to tame the flavour.Heck, old Hershey himself had a sugar plantation in Cuba just to support his factory, even had a little minature train to transport the sugar to port. Apparantly the train still exists and runs daily....
Edward
@edward
07/02/08 10:34:10AM
22 posts
No, I don't think sugar is key to combining and maintaining the quality of cocoa butter and solids. I have sampled some very fine couvetures with 70%, 80% and 90% cocoa content, and while very intense and powerfull, the mouthfeel/texture is smooooth. IMHO the texture and suaveness of couveture is from the skill in conching, not from sugar."Displacement" theory or not, if I make a sugar syrup starting with one liter of water and two kgs of sugar, boil it all I want, I'll still end up with one liter of syrup. No volume is ever gained.I don't know of any sugar confection that gains volume once the "molecules and crystalline structure starts to mutate". Could you please furnish some examples?I, too, love my job, and make caramel on a weekly basis, but it's never gained volume on me....
updated by @edward: 09/12/15 12:01:40PM
Hans
@hans
07/02/08 01:38:00PM
14 posts
I can find a few problems with aerating chocolate:1) Because chocolate expands and contracts over time, excess air reduces the density of the mass and facilitates cracking and eventual crumbling of the bar.2) Air causes oxidation, which reduces shelf life of a product. A perfect example is whipped cream, which has a shelf life significantly less than that of its non-whipped counterpart.3) Excess air in the bar interferes with the chocolate-tongue contact so flavor dispersal is much more uneven and erratic.4) Density of texture would be affected so that the bar appears lighter and not as "rich" as a non-aerated bar of chocolate.However, I found a few useful links:Barry CallebautSpartak (in Belarus)ZOMG Candy BlogThat blog is of particular interest because it provides a picture and a description of a cross sectioned (aerated) Spartak 72% dark bar. (You can find it easily by doing a control F for "spartak elite.") The air bubbles are clearly visible, which contrasts with Callebaut's micro bubbles.
Edward
@edward
07/02/08 07:44:36PM
22 posts
You can make your own "aerated" chocolate by warming a whip cream dispensor, filling 1/3 full of very warm, untempered couverture, charging it with nitrous oxide and quickly dispensing it. It is a novelty--the taste or texture doesn't really pick me up by my ears and scream at me-- and I am still very hesitant to offer it with my customers. (Oh look, he's re-created the Aero chocolate bar...)One thing to factor in to manufacturer-made aerated chocolate is the added cost. True, the air is free, but since chocolate is sold by weight and not by volume, manufacturers would be reluctant to pay for yet one more process, more packaging costs as well as transport/shipping costs.
Hans
@hans
07/03/08 09:03:45PM
14 posts
Interesting, Edward, but I wouldn't be surprised if your customers would love aerated chocolate if you made it for them. You're not only selling a product, but also a service, which could possibly be your own market niche. Just a thought :)The link I provided earlier mentioned that Callebaut's aerated chocolate chunks are cheaper than "normal" chunks, presumably because of less cocoa mass and more air, yet I wondered how that could be possible to account for the expenses in equipment, labor, packaging, marketing, etc. My guess is that the money a company saves by reducing cocoa mass is invested towards all those additional production and promotion costs so that it can at least break even, presuming of course the costs are nearly identical. If not, even then the company stands to gain by the increased market presence.
Bailey
@bailey
07/14/08 05:18:19PM
1 posts
I have found the most incredible chocolate. It is raw, unprocessed, organic, and breath-takingly delicious. The cocoa butter causes it to melt in your mouth the way chocolate should. Also, it makes your body buzz instead of feeling heavy... it's available at certain markets in NYC but you can also order online at www.gnosischocolate.com. My favorite flavors are Simplicity, Coconut-Almond, and SuperChoc. To die for....especially for all of you who LOVE cocoa butter.
Grant S of Grant Candy Co.
@grant-s-of-grant-candy-co
07/15/08 09:54:43PM
4 posts
What if it is milk chocolate? It has the fat from the whole milk powder... I make homemade chocolate and i know that milk chocolate has fat from the milk unless the chocolate companies use skim milk like I do. I read the labels and I know that the other companies use full fat milk.. Actually some companies use both skim and full fat milk. Anyway... That is a good way to see the amount of cocoa butter is in the dark chocolate, or sweet chocolate (chocolate with no milk)...
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
07/22/08 05:19:02PM
251 posts
I'd like to share a few preliminary observations. To the seasoned experts this is probably nothing new, but just remember that I'm a neophyte who's having fun learning about all of this.So far I've gathered the fat content data on 55 bars. Here are a few early observations:-The fat content varies from 30-50%-The higher the cacao content the higher the fat content. That makes sense since there is less sugar, so to make it more palatable there is more fat.-I see no relationship between fat content and my quality ratings. But since I don't like >80% as much as bars in the 70-79% range and I generally like >90% even less, even though these have the highest fat percentages they have lower ratings (according to my preferences).
Ilana
@ilana
12/20/08 12:24:11PM
97 posts
Thank you! May I add a link to this on my terminology page on my site?
ChocoFiles
@chocofiles
12/20/08 01:59:26PM
251 posts
I'm not sure who you're asking permission of or who would grant it, but you can surely use any information that I've provided.Would you please post the URL of your site here, though, so that we can all see it?
Ilana
@ilana
12/23/08 11:48:40AM
97 posts
Hi, sorry. The way it appeared was : the original post and then a place to comment, and then all the comments... So my comment came last but was meant to refer to the original post. I would like to post information on the amounts and importance of cacao butter in my site because people are so confused about cocoa "solids", 60% is thought by some of my customers to have more cocoa butter than 70% because "70% has more cocoa solids"... I would love to add links to anone's site on my link page also. Sorry if this is a confused mess- I am rushing!!link's on my homepage.Thanks.
Clay Gordon
@clay
12/23/08 04:30:19PM
1,680 posts
I've started a new Forum thread titled Deconstructing Cocoa Content to address the specific need for a page that members can link to and point others to visit to learn "the truth" about cocoa content.


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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Nancy2
@nancy2
04/14/09 07:54:10PM
5 posts
hello all,This sounds a trifle complicated, but good to know. I personally prefer many other brands above Lindt, I find them a little dry. Has anyone tried the Bernard Callebaut chocolate?He makes it with the French traditional style and it is very good. I am not sure how much cocoa butter is in it, come to think of it.for fun and good taste too....candy
David Sawyer
@david-sawyer
06/03/09 05:35:26PM
1 posts
Dig math,explanation is insightful. Thanks for the post.
SofiaRaj Chocolates
@sofiaraj-chocolates
07/09/09 02:46:31AM
3 posts
Hi Olorin!!!Think about it this way. The average person on the street, when asked to describe a bar of chocolate, tends to mention texture first and then flavor, which could be attributable to a number of things:a) cocoa butter's low melting point causes the texture to be noticed firstb) chocolate's flavor takes some time to fully develop, so to render a final opinion before the flavor develops is not really usefulc) natural preference towards fatty foodsYou can find your solution to visit...Chocolates
Daniel O'Doherty
@daniel-odoherty
09/30/09 12:52:13AM
4 posts
Hi,I have a friend who is huge fan of such products and makes such chocolate himself; he uses the term "unroasted chocolate". I'm not sure that the term raw is always used correctly, especially with regard to "raw chocolate". Unless the beans used to make this "raw, unprocessed, organic..." chocolate are unfermented, it cannot formally be considered raw. Yes, they may not be cooked in the traditional sense, but the fermentation of cacao pulp causes the bean temperature to rise around 40 C and higher in some instances, and this is at or above the limit specified by many raw foodists.
Clay Gordon
@clay
09/30/09 11:59:10AM
1,680 posts
Sam -You are right, there is no "formal" definition of the term raw. Conventionally, the raw food movement uses a maximum temp of between 115-118 as the upper limit.Daniel -There is some variability in maximum pile fermentation temperatures and if I remember correctly Sam has written on this; max pile temps are between 115F (46C) and 125F (51C) depending on the source. So depending on the particulars of a specific fermentation process, the temps can stay below the magic 118F figure, be fully fermented, AND be "raw."However, during drying surface temperatures (e.g., concrete pad in the sun) can easily reach 140F (60C) and no-one really pays attention to what happens to temps during drying.


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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Clay Gordon
@clay
10/02/09 10:24:25PM
1,680 posts
It is quite amazing to see and taste the diversity of qualities when comparing single-tree nibs/chocolate (if anyone is interested, I have pix of side-by-side winnowed nibs from single tree ferments) .Yes, please.


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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Mark Heim
@mark-heim
10/05/09 01:04:52PM
101 posts
Not all the fat in a chocolate bar, even dark chocolate, is always cocoa butter. Many makers use some added milk fat in the form of AMF. Although this will soften the snap a bit, it helps prevent fat bloom.
Clay Gordon
@clay
10/05/09 01:06:34PM
1,680 posts
AMF is an acronym for what? Anhydrous milk fat? Butter oil is also commonly used.


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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Mark Heim
@mark-heim
10/07/09 08:42:27PM
101 posts
Yes, anhydrous milk fat, or butter oil. The only other fat source allowed in chocolate standard of identity. Except for oil migration from nuts or nutpastes.
Daniel O'Doherty
@daniel-odoherty
12/12/09 06:11:12PM
4 posts
Winnowed nibs from three different trees on Oahu. All beans were fermented, dried, and roasted in the same manner and with the same conditions. Very different flavors when made into single tree chocolate bars.


updated by @daniel-odoherty: 09/08/15 07:47:01PM
Nancy Nadel
@nancy-nadel
01/23/10 03:38:56AM
13 posts
I'm very interested in this. I and a Jamaican friend taught ourselves to ferment in Jamaica and dream of experimenting with fermenting and influence on flavor. I can only be there in August due to other job requirements, out of harvest season, so I don't get enough to experiment with from a single tree. I have worked with single farmers with very small cocoa walks and really see the difference in flavors from one farm to another. You mentioned having photos and I would love to see them.
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