Need HELP: Raw Cacao Butter looking different!

Sanja
@sanja
02/16/16 08:42:59AM
12 posts

Hi everyone,

I hope that someone can help me with this. We have been making raw chocolates using raw cacao butter and in a new batch we noticed that the structure, taste and smell of the butter is different. I am attaching two photos- one is the smooth and good cacao butter, the other one is the flawed butter that is porous in structure, has a slightly acidic smell and also tastes different in the final product.

We contacted our importer who said he will ask the supplier. We have dry and safe storage so I don't believe it's from our end, especially since we've always used the same storage for these supplies.

Any ideas on what this might be and also practical tips on how to tackle the issue with the importer or supplier?

Many thanks for your help!

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Sebastian
@sebastian
02/16/16 10:05:11AM
754 posts

There's nothing wrong with it at all.   You're seeing variation in natural cocoa butter, and the porous-ness of it is simply differences in how it cooled.

if you desire more consistency in color and flavor, you need to specify you want deodorized cocoa butter from your supplier.

Sanja
@sanja
02/16/16 10:32:52AM
12 posts

Hi Sebastian,

thank you so much for the feedback! that would definitely be the best case scenario so I'm happy to hear that! Do you happen to know if there is any kind of mould or insect that could even potentially attack cacao butter? I have heard about it for cacao beans but I'm not sure wether cacao butter has a suited environemnt for that kind of thing, seeing as it's pure fat.

Also, do you know of any tests that can be done to determine wether the raw ingredients are not compromised? 

All the best,

Sanja

Sebastian
@sebastian
02/16/16 12:16:55PM
754 posts

Mold will never be an issue as long as your butter has not gotten wet.  If it's stored improperly and gets wet, all kinds of things can go wrong.  The butter in your photos is not wet.

Insects can attack cocoa butter, but it's incredibly rare.  I've only ever seen it once. 

Re: comproimsed cocoa butter - it's actually quite easy to 'blend in' other oils to cheapen it, and can be measured/identified spectroscopically.  It's done with olive oil all the time (much of the 'pure' olive oil on stores shelves isn't as 'pure' as claimed).  It's very technical, and not many people know how to do it.  I'd probably not spend much time chasing that down if i were you, to be honest.

PeterK
@peterk
02/16/16 01:41:15PM
17 posts

I agree, I would not spend too much time chasing the adulteration angle, it will probably lead nowhere (and cost you a bit). The bigger question is- did you sample the lot before you bought it? Natural cocoa butter is variable from lot to lot, we would NEVER buy without a preshipment sample.

Clay Gordon
@clay
02/16/16 01:43:18PM
1,680 posts

Of course, a deodorized cocoa butter could not remotely be considered raw.




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clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Sanja
@sanja
02/16/16 01:52:09PM
12 posts

Hey Clay, Peter & Sebastian,

thanks so much for the feedback! We did of course order samples beforehand and seeing as it's the second time we've ordered from this supplier, we do have a good relationship and generally feel that the produce is at a high level. I suppose that there's not really much they can do if this is indeed part of the natural variation. It seems that this only affects a smaller part of the entire delivery.

I suppose my question now is: Is it possible to use these pieces with the nicer looking ones, say in a ratio of 1:10, without impacting the quality, smell or taste of the final product? Or maybe a different ratio?

PeterK
@peterk
02/16/16 02:03:42PM
17 posts

I would melt out some of both, mix them in varying percentages, solidify them, then taste against your original.

Also, not questioning your taste buds, but I have never seen a lot of cocoa butter that varied in the lot.


updated by @peterk: 02/16/16 02:11:08PM
Sebastian
@sebastian
02/16/16 02:43:23PM
754 posts

Clay Gordon: Of course, a deodorized cocoa butter could not remotely be considered raw.

Neither would most natural butter 8)

RawChocolateLife
@rawchocolatelife
02/17/16 09:10:12PM
25 posts

we had one batch of raw cacao butter doing that to our chocolate. It gave a more waxy feel to the chocolate and had a weird aftertaste.  I'm wondering if it has anything to do with the conching process as maybe volatiles were trapped in the cacao during processing and not allowed to escape.  We just told the supplier and got some from a different batch and were good again.

PeterK
@peterk
02/18/16 03:08:09PM
17 posts

Sebastian:
Clay Gordon: Of course, a deodorized cocoa butter could not remotely be considered raw.



Neither would most natural butter 8)

You could certainly argue that "raw" cocoa butter isn't raw. BTW I would hazard a guess you had a batch with some fermentation issues, I don't think anything gets conched.

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