Smith K.W., Cocoa Butter and Cocoa Butter Equivalents, In Structured Lipids and Modified Lipids Ed. Gunstone F., Marcel Dekker, New York (2001)
Cocoa butter is derived from the cocoa bean, the seed of the Theobroma tree, principally grown in South America and West Africa. Once the shell has been removed from the seed, the remaining nib contains approximately fifty-five percent fat. Following fermentation and drying (roasting) of the beans, the nibs are ground to give cocoa liquor. This can be used to make chocolate although, for normal applications, it is necessary to add additional cocoa butter. This cocoa butter is removed from the liquor or from the bean by a pressing process, by expulsion in an expeller press or by solvent extraction. Cocoa butter is an important ingredient for chocolate and other confectionery products, having a major influence on the organoleptic and physical properties. However, a number of factors drove the development of alternatives to cocoa butter. Firstly, as noted, more fat is required in proportion to the non-fat cocoa solids than is found in the bean. Secondly, the cocoa butter supply suffered a degree of uncertainty and variability. Thirdly, the price of cocoa butter was relatively high at the time.