The solvent extraction of cocoa butter has been developed and perfected over many years. There are many types of solvent-extraction equipment, batch and continuous, with modifications to suit the materials being treated, whether seeds, nut residues, offal or bones.
With cocoa, material for extraction is preferably in the form of corns from expeller presses or cubes, as powder does not really allow percolation of the solvent.
Solvent extraction removes certain gums and phosphatides as well as the fat, but extracted fats are usually subjected to deodorization and degumming processes so that these cocoa butters have a bland flavor. They also have the reputation of being softer and with less ‘snap’ than expressed butters.
Despite the favorable characteristics of flavor, solvent extracted butter normally only forms 2-5% of the butter blend for chocolate as it is softer than that produced by conventional pressed liquor.
The flavor of cocoa butter is determined by both the geographical origin of the beans and the deodorization conditions. Deodorization reduces the levels of free fatty acids but also antioxidant compounds such as tocopherols.
Solvent extraction cocoa butter