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# Cocoa butter and cocoa solids

Hans has a very thought provoking article in Cocoa Content called "Why cocoa content matters". In it he shows a very insightful way to determine the amount of cocoa butter. Here's the essence of it:

Cocoa content only tells you how much of the bar’s weight is comprised of cocoa solids. Now, it’s important to understand that “cocoa solids” refers to the chocolate’s combined weight of cocoa butter and dry cocoa particles (i.e. cocoa powder). You can find the amount of cocoa butter from the amount of fat, though. Once you have that you can determine the percentage of the rest of the solids.
Follow these steps from the nutrition label:
1. Note the serving size, since it varies.
2. Note the Total Fat The Fat is from cocoa butter
3. Divide the Total Fat by the Serving size (Fat/Size), then multiply by 100 to get the percentage of fat
4. Subtract the percentage of fat from the cacao percentage and the difference will tell you what percentage of the bar consists of dry cocoa solids. Cocoa butter percentage + cocoa solids percentage = Total cacao percentage.
For example, consider a bar of Lindt Excellence 70%. The Nutrition Facts show the serving size as 42g, with 17g of fat. Divide 17 by 42 and multiply the result by 100, and you’ll get 40. This means there’s 40% cocoa butter. Subtract that number from 70, which in this case is 30% dry cocoa solids . (40 + 30 = 70)
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What do you think of this?

Tags: butter, fat

Views: 6276

### Replies to This Discussion

I call the part of the cacao nib that isn't fat "non-fat cocoa solids", or NFCS for short.

From Langdon "what exactly does "Percent" indicate? And how about "Cacao fat"?"

Percent = the percentage of all cacao that is printed on the label

Fat = from the nutrition facts.  Calculated from Fat grams / serving size and changed from a decimal to a percentage.  e.g.- 14 g fat in a 40 g serving = o.35 or 35% fat

I'll try to explain somewhere where these numbers come from.  Thanks for the advice.

Green & Black's White was a mistake that shouldn't have been in there.  That was done early in my data collection process and has now been removed, as will any other White bars.  White can't be included because of the other added fats.   Thanks for pointing that out.  Please let me know of any other discrepancies or errors.

Langdon:

Technically true, Minifie et al and the USDA refer to the edible fat component. However, I am not aware of any commercially available cocoa butter that is not "contaminated" (in the sense that you use the word) by at least some amount of volatile aromatics. I was making the point with references to Lowe's impression that adding cocoa butter muted the flavor of chocolate - I was pointing out that cocoa butter does have flavor. I may not have chosen the clearest way to express that thought.

:: Clay

"I was pointing out that cocoa butter does have flavor."

Even so, Clay, x amount of cocoa butter has much less flavour than the same amount of cocoa liquor. So it's fair to say, as Lowe did, that extra cocoa butter weakens the flavour.

In some bars, where only a small amount of cocoa butter is added, the weakening effect might be negligible, but in other bars (like Choklat 70%, for example, which contains 30% added cocoa butter) the effect is undoubtedly significant, whether the cocoa butter is deodorized or not.

Also, much chocolate is made with deodorized cocoa butter anyway - e.g. milk and white chocolates.

It also seems safe to assume that origin bars would often contain deodorized cocoa butter, too - because no serious chocolate maker would want the flavour of their "Chuao" (or whatever) beans competing with flavourful cocoa butter from a completely different origin (very few artisan manufacturers press their own cocoa butter).

Langdon:

I wasn't arguing the amount or intensity of the flavor of a cocoa butter, just that cocoa butter has flavor. I agree that the affect adding a deodorized cocoa butter has on the flavor of a chocolate depends on how "flavorful" the chocolate was to begin with and how much cocoa butter gets added.

You are right, few origin chocolate bars contain undeodorized cocoa butter made from the same beans as the liquor. The only origin chocolate maker in the US that I know of that has a butter press is Askinosie.

FWIW, it's my opinion that in order to be truly called a "single" origin chocolate it's necessary to use butter from beans of the same origin (deodorized or no), not butter from an unknown source. If the chocolate maker is making a single-plantation bar, then the butter needs to be from beans from the same plantation, not the same region or country, in order to be a "true" "single-origin."

:: Clay

"I wasn't arguing the amount or intensity of the flavor of a cocoa butter, just that cocoa butter has flavor."

Forgive me for misunderstanding, Clay, because I thought that was precisely what you meant when you said here that "If the cocoa butter is pressed from the same beans that the chocolate is made from and the butter is not deodorized then the flavor isn't diluted."

"So why do think there's generally higher fat content in higher percentage bars?  By adding extra cocoa butter the makers are decreasing their profit margin.  It doesn't seem like it's for taste because IMO extra cocoa butter weakens the taste."

IMO, whether the cocoa butter is deodorized or not, I think each manufacturer uses whichever to achieve the flavor they wanted.

It may  be true that cacao powder is more flavorful than cocoa butter, but I think chocolate is not just about "chocolatey" flavour burst.

The notes, the mouthfeel, and the aroma might be enhanced or muffled by the ingredient they use.

Too much cocoa powder might overpower the taste details and notes of flavor. That may be one of the reasons why they decided to use cocoa butter instead of powder.

CMIIW.

I wouldn't be surprised if makers add cocoa butter solely to appeal to a certain clientele, namely those who favor texture over flavor and to ease the transition into higher percentages for those folks who are just too
reticent of going that route. chocolate can have a fantastic texture without
overloading the fat content with cocoa butter or vegetable oils or other
"texture-enhancers." Particle size achieved through the grinding and
refining has much to do with the finished texture. A rough estimate of 50% is
even easier to calculate. I forget which beans have more fat but I think it is
forastero from Ghana.
At least I remember that the butter content in those beans is supposed to be
harder, which makes them more suitable for milk.

So, I used the method above and calculated the cocoa butter percentages for more than 300 bars... then I discovered that method was flawed, so I threw away all of that data.  I had neglected the fact that the serving size was the total weight of cacao plus sugar plus any extra ingredients (vanilla and/or soy lecithin)

Here is the correct method:

1) Note the serving size (in g)

2) Calculate the amount of cacao per serving by using the cacao percentage.  Keep in mind that the total serving size = cacao + sugar + (optional other ingredients, 1-2%).

The amount of cacao = serving size X cacao percentage (as a decimal number).

Ex- a 40 g serving X .75 = 30 g cacao.

3) Note the Total Fat (in g)

4) Divide Total Fat by Cacao Amount in step 2.  This gives you a decimal. Then convert this decimal number to a percentage (i.e. 0.52 is 52%) and then you have the cocoa butter percentage.

An example, Fresco Dominican Republic 223, 72%:

1)   Serving size = 45 g

2)   Cacao percentage = .72

3)   Weight of cacao = 45 x .72 = 32.4

4)   Fat content = 16.2 g

5)   16.2/32.4 = .50, so 50% cocoa butter

ChocoFiles-

I think that you are incorrect not in the mathematics but in the assumptions. Let me follow your example with a lower % bar

Dagoba 37%:

1. 56g total wt

2. 20g fat wt / 21g cacao wt

3. 36% fat

4. 37%-36% = 1% or 97% butter

I can show you many more examples like this. In fact some 30% bars have a negative cacao %.

I am a chemical engineer and I did all of this before I posted my first thread-- which included my assumptions on what cacao% means. I also attached a rough spreadsheet which calculated weight percentages of each constituent. I believe that the OP incorrectly assumes that %cacao is without fat. I made a bold assumption on the fat% and when entered into my spreadsheet shows a wide variation of dry cacao and a very low variation on fat% which makes sense to me. It shows that the texture is well agreed upon and the % cacao is inversely related to sugar based on personal taste preference.

Drew,

Thanks for the reply but I think you missed a crucial point that wasn't made clearly enough in my OP.  You can only do this with dark chocolate that has no other inclusions such as milk powder, fruit, nibs, or nuts added.

The only 37% bars I have ever seen are milk chocolate bars, so they have milk powder and other ingredients added, including some that have fat in them.  You CANNOT use this method with any bars that have inclusions.  Does that make sense?

A better explanation is below:

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It’s actually pretty easy to figure out the percentage of cocoa butter in a chocolate bar.  Note, though, that you can only do this with dark chocolate that has no other inclusions such as milk powder, fruit, nibs, or nuts added.  You also have to have a package with the nutritional information that includes the fat content (in grams) because the fat is from cocoa butter.   Follow these steps:

1) Note the serving size (in g)

2) Calculate the amount of cacao per serving by using the cacao percentage.  Keep in mind that the total serving size = cacao + sugar + (optional other ingredients, 1-2%).

The amount of cacao = serving size X cacao percentage (as a decimal number).

Ex- a 40 g serving X .75 = 30 g cacao.

3) Note the Total Fat (in g)

4) Divide Total Fat by Cacao Amount in step 2.  This gives you a decimal. Then convert this decimal number to a percentage (i.e. 0.52 is 52%) and then you have the cocoa butter percentage.

An example, Fresco Dominican Republic 223, 72%:

1)   Serving size = 45 g

2)   Cacao percentage = .72

3)   Weight of cacao = 45 x .72 = 32.4

4)   Fat content = 16.2 g

5)   16.2/32.4 = .50, so 50% cocoa butter