Chocolate in hot climate might no longer be a sticky business

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 24th January 2013

A study undertaken by staff at the University of Campinas in Brazil has found that chocolate melting in hot climates may no longer be a problem.

Just published in the January issue of the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, the study concludes that the use of hardfats in products containing cocoa butter may be sufficient to alter the chemical structure such that chocolate could become heat-resistant.

The study assessed the fatty acid and triacylglycerol compositions of a number of fully hydrogenated oils, including parm kernel oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil and crambe oil.

All but palm kernel oil were effective in raising the “melting point, solid fat profiles, microstructure, and consistency” when blended with cocoa butter.

The study found that while formulations of chocolate have a melting point of 33.8 degrees Celsius, the addition of hardfats in future formulations could surpass this temperature.

According to the study, the addition of hardfats as “crystallization additives” in existing cocoa butter formulations will advance products’ “heat resistance and hardness” which is “often necessary when commercialized in regions of warm climates or with large variation in temperature”.

“The hardfats may act as potential modulations of cocoa butter crystallization, aiming to obtain higher quality products and significant cost reduction of industrial processing”, says the study.

In December 2012, Australian Food News also reported separately on Cadbury’s claim about a new chocolate that could resist heat for up to 40 degrees Celsius.