Cocoa butter is a vegetable oil that is derived from the cacao bean. It has many uses in foods, cosmetic products and baking. Cocoa butter is made up of various lipids, making it high in saturated fats. However, cocoa butter is a desirable fat to use; it is solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature.
Cocoa butter is not a health supplement, but it is found in many oils and lotions. Cocoa butter is used for moisturizers, massage oils and treatments for skin conditions such as eczema and inflamed skin.
Cocoa butter is not to be confused with cocoa. Cocoa is the solid parts of the cacao beans that have been ground into a powder. Cocoa butter is the oil part of the cacao bean.
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How Cocoa Butter is Made Cocoa butter comes from the cacao seed or bean. One process that separates the butter from the bean is to allow the beans to ferment. Then roast the beans and press the chocolate solids from the bean to extract the cocoa butter. Another way to remove the cocoa ... more
Cocoa butter comes from the cacao seed or bean. One process that separates the butter from the bean is to allow the beans to ferment. Then roast the beans and press the chocolate solids from the bean to extract the cocoa butter.
Another way to remove the cocoa butter is called the Broma process. Ground cacao beans are hung up in a warm environment. The cocoa butter then melts out of the ground beans.
The most common food use of cocoa butter is chocolate. Both white and milk chocolates are created with cocoa butter.
White chocolate differs from milk chocolate in that the solid parts of the cacao bean are not added back to the mixture as in milk chocolate. White chocolate is composed mainly of cocoa butter, which gives the white chocolate its light color.
Milk chocolate contains less cocoa butter than white chocolate, but more than dark chocolate. The cocoa solids are what contain the heart-healthy substances such as cocoa mass polyphenol (CMP).
The ratio of cocoa butter to cocoa solids can be estimated by the color of the chocolate. The darker the chocolate, the more cocoa solids and less butter it contains.
Because of cocoa butter’s readiness to melt at low temperatures and its moisturizing properties, it is a common ingredient in lotions and skin creams. Cocoa butter has a velvety texture. It is especially useful for extremely dry skin as creates a very rich and heavy lotion.
The melting characteristics of cocoa butter also make it a desirable additive for medical suppositories.
Cocoa butter has long been advertised in lotions and creams as a preventative or cure for stretch marks. Mainly marketed to pregnant woman, who arethe most commonly afflicted with stretch marks or striae, cocoa butter is also touted as erasing stretch marks from weight gain or loss.
A 2008 double-blind study found at the National Institute of Health’s medical publishing site followed 210 women through pregnancy. Half were given cocoa butter to apply to the skin to prevent or diminish stretch marks, while the other half were given a topical cream placebo. The study found no diminishing or preventative effects of the cocoa butter compared to the placebo.
However, using a moisturizer, containing cocoa butter or not, could still be beneficial for preventing or decreasing the severity of stretch marks, says Dr. Lisa Mazzullo, who is quoted in an article on Web MD. Applying lotions will increase the elasticity of the skin, allowing it to stretch without sustaining as much damage.
Cocoa butter has been shown to cause the clogging of pores that leads to skin problems such as acne or infected hair follicles. Discontinue use if you begin to experience skin problems from cocoa butter.
Some people might experience an allergic reaction to cocoa butter. A rash may develop on all areas of the skin where the cocoa butter was applied. If an allergic reaction includes difficulty swallowing or breathing, swelling or dizziness then seek immediate medical attention.
It is a good idea to consult with a health care provider and pharmacist when beginning to use any new substance or product. Those who have a sensitivity or allergy to chocolate should not use cocoa butter or products containing cocoa butter.
People with high cholesterol levels should avoid eating anything that has high levels of cocoa butter or other saturated fats as they will add to the high levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol.
Cocoa butter is sold in lotions and moisturizers. Cocoa butter in lotions and creams should only be applied topically; they are not for ingestion. Follow the manufacturer’s directions!
Cocoa butter is also sold in a solid form to be used for baked goods and making chocolate. Use the free supplement finder to locate cocoa butter products now!
|Contraindicated For Certain Medical Conditions|
|Prevent Stretch Marks|