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Keywords:

  • cocoa butter;
  • cocoa butter equivalents;
  • chocolate;
  • authenticity;
  • triglycerides

Abstract

This paper reviews strategies to detect and analyse cocoa butter equivalents added to genuine cocoa butter or to chocolate products. The legal background of the issue is that current European legislation allows the addition of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter to chocolate up to a level of 5% of the product weight, provided that the addition is correctly indicated on the label. However, the Directive fails to specify a method of analysis to enforce compliance.

The principal themes highlight compositional data (triglyceride and fatty acid composition, components of the unsaponifiable matter) of cocoa butter from different origins and suitable raw materials used for the formulation of cocoa butter equivalents, and explains how analytical techniques (gas-liquid chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, pyrolysis mass spectrometry) make use of subtle differences between the two commodities to detect commingling.