Abstract: Oil migration from a high oil content filling into adjacent chocolate causes changes in product quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the oil migration from a cream filling system into cocoa butter, which provided a model for the behavior of chocolate-enrobed confectionery products with a soft, creamy center. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to monitor spatial and temporal changes of liquid lipid content. A multislice spin echo pulse sequence was used to acquire images with a 7.8 ms echo time and a 200 ms repetition time using a 1.03 T Aspect Imaging MRI spectrometer. Samples were prepared as a 2-layer model system of cocoa butter and model cream filling. Three methods were used to prepare the cocoa butter: static, seeded, and sheared. Samples were stored at 25 °C for a time frame of 56 d. The rate of oil migration was quantified by a kinetic expression based on the linear dependence of oil uptake by cocoa butter and the square root of the time. Samples showed distinctly different rates of oil migration, as evidenced by quantitative differences in the kinetic rate constant.
Practical Application: This work will be helpful to elucidate the influence of crystallization process and structural properties such as crystal nanostructure and crystal habit on the migration of oil through a crystalline fat matrix.