Do not be mistaken by the ‘butter’ part of its name. It may sound like butter but cocoa butter is a part of cocoa beans and therefore totally vegan. Its processing involves fermenting cocoa beans for about 6-7 days then drying them so that they retain only 8% of moisture. A single seed weighs 1g with 40-45% fat and is brown in color. So you know where chocolate derives its rich brown color.
This is how cocoa butter is extracted using a machine:
Cocoa butter is used in making chocolate among other uses. Once dried, they are covered, roasted, and finally crashed. This powder form is the main ingredient in thick cocoa paste which is what is used in different kinds of chocolate. Except for white chocolate which most likely contains dairy products, dark chocolate is often vegan.
To be on the safe side, always check the label. Vegan-friendly chocolate will not include a long list of filler ingredients. If it’s indeed vegan-friendly, fewer more natural ingredients would be the case.
Cocoa butter has huge benefits including:
- Reduction of cardiovascular diseases
- Enhanced immunity
- Stretch marks prevention
- Shaving cream manufacture
- Mouth sores treatment
- Soothes burns and rashes
- Reduces aging
- Moisturizes dry skin
Apart from chocolate, cocoa butter also makes a great baking agent. It is also used in producing ointments, toiletries, and various pharmaceutical products. Over the years cocoa butter prices have been surging forcing companies to use alternatives. Some chocolate making companies have substituted cocoa butter for palm-oil as it is cheaper.
What’s your favorite cocoa butter product?