Cocoa butter (Oleum theobromatis) represents a significant percentage of the composition of cocoa beans. It comes after pressing the seeds of the cocoa and is considered a pure natural oil that brings only benefits to human health and beauty. Today, cocoa butter is widely used in cosmetics, confectionary, pharmaceuticals and others.
This naturally hydrogenated vegetable oil is rich in antioxidants that prevent rancidity for a long time. When properly stored, cocoa butter can last between 2 and 5 years. It is an absolutely pure product without any chemical impurities. Therefore there is no need for it to be further purified.
It is considered one of the most stable and solid fats known to people. There is a nice and smooth texture with a more pleasant and a wonderful cocoa aroma. The color is light brown and can be easily broken into large pieces.
Although cocoa butter remains slightly in the shade of cocoa powder, it is no less useful and effective. Cocoa Seed Butter is a component of a large number of quality products like conditioners and body milks, soaps and creams. Pharmaceuticals use the oil for making suppositories.
At the core of every fruit of the Cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) are between 16 and 60 seeds. Cocoa is an evergreen tree in the Malvaceae family. It comes from forests of Central and South America, but later spread to Africa and Asia. The actual cocoa tree reaches a height of 8-10 m, and its blooms are lavished with beautiful - pale pink flowers. Cocoa trees begin to bear fruit after their fourth year and continue to 80 years of age.
Cocoa fruits are oval and large, reaching 500 g weight bearing up to about 30 cm width, their skin is yellow, with orange and red colors. Cocoa beans are named so because they look like beans. As mentioned, the seeds are very high in fat (about 50%), which is the cocoa butter.
The use of cocoa butter has been spread since 3000 years ago and cocoa was grown by the first civilizations of South America - Olmecs, it was later inherited by the Mayans and Aztecs. They kept the ancient traditions iofn growing cocoa plantations and a chocolate recipe. Indian tribes love to drink hot cocoa drinks with chilies.
Often corn, salt and crushed berries of the annatto (Bixa Orellana) were added. Cacao seeds were forcefully broken with various impurities to get a thick foam on the surface. For them, the cacao tree was a sacred plant, deeply connected with religious ceremonies and rituals in family and weddings. They even used them as currency.
Criollo is considered the most expensive and valuable variety of cocoa, which grows in South America. However, it makes only 10% of the world's chocolate. After pressing the cocoa seeds, you obtain cocoa butter, which is a main ingredient for making chocolate, especially white chocolate.
Composition of cocoa butter
The composition of cocoa beans has about 50% fat, which is cocoa butter , which is about 7% starch, 5% water, 4% fiber, 2% theobromine, 20% protein and 6% minerals. The beans are now known to have 300 identified substances. One of the greatest wealths of cocoa are its many fatty acids - stearic acid 34%, oleic acid 34%, 26% palmitic acid, linoleic acid 2%, other saturated fatty acids 4%.
The cocoa butter is concentrated in saturated fats - about two thirds, they but are useful and have a negative influence on blood fats and cholesterol. Stearic acid is a saturated fatty acid, which, however, has a positive effect in reducing plaques in the blood vessels and can not cause cardiovascular diseases.
Cocoa and cocoa butter are loaded with flavonoids (powerful antioxidants) and also high in vitamin E and polyphenols (antioxidants also found in cocoa butter). It is believed that chocolate contains many more antioxidants than black tea, green tea and even wine.
At 100 grams cocoa is: about 500 kcal, protein 18 to 22 g, fat 25 to 30 g, carbohydrate 40, 6 minerals, 5 g Calcium 100 to 120 mg, magnesium 400 to 500 mg, potassium 1500 mg, phosphorus 650 mg, zinc 3, 5 mg, iron 10 to 12 mg, and also copper, selenium, oxalic acid 470 mg, 2300 mg theobromine, many B vitamins (vitamin B1 0.13 mg, vitamin B2 0.40 mg, Vitamin B3 and 2.70 mg vitamin B6 0.14 mg, vitamin B9 0.038 mg). The same amount of cocoa contains 68 mg of caffeine.
Furthermore, there is a different application for making chocolate in confectionery, cocoa butter is often added to other homemade drinks and desserts in which you can be sure that this fat will have a negative impact on your health.
Cocoa butter is used in the preparation of beverages with milk, added to ice cream, coffee, honey, nuts and dried fruit. Important condition for the culinary processing of cocoa butter is that it’s not heated to more than 35 to 40 degrees, allowing the preservation of its beneficial substances.
Benefits of cocoa butter
Although a few years ago chocolate was one of the worst enemies of the thin waist, these claims have long been disproven. On the contrary - cocoa products help to regulate body weight. Of course, this is only possible with controlled chocolate consumption to 40 grams per day.
It is important to note that cocoa products protect your teeth from the harmful effects of sugar, which automatically removes the charge from the cacao that ruins your teeth. As a rule, most cocoa butter is in natural, darker, dark chocolates.
Moreover, pure cocoa and cocoa butter is good for your heart to work. This is due to the antioxidant flavonoids, the consumption of cocoa products reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack by as much as 39% even at minimum daily consumption. Chocolate with at least 75% cocoa content is very useful to keep the arteries elastic and healthy, thus good for the cardiovascular system.
Aztecs considered cacao and chocolate as a strong aphrodisiac, which is largely true. The difference is that nowadays there is scientific justification for this. Cocoa products stimulate the brain, stimulating the production of endorphins - the hormone of happiness. This is thanks to feniletilaminas that stimulate the activity of nerve cells and activate the brain.
The biggest advantage of cocoa butter is that it is extremely beneficial for the skin, its strength and protection. If you anoint your skin with cocoa butter before exposure to the sun, you will get a thick and healthy complexion. Significantly, butter from cocoa beans is also used in cosmetics. It hydrates and regenerates the skin as it makes it smooth and soft. There are healthy effects to be enjoyed because it fills vitamins and minerals into the skin, giving it elasticity.
Many women resort to external use of cocoa butter because it has the ability to remove stretch marks and scars. In this respect, pregnant women may treat their skin with cocoa butter to protect them from the unpleasant consequences as a result of the natural process of stretching that weight gaining offers.
If you regularly anoint your body with cocoa butter, you will enjoy smooth skin without wrinkles, being protected from allergic and inflammatory processes, well hydrated and evenly pigmented. Cocoa butter has antioxidants and neutralizes harmful radicals.