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Cocoa Butter

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butwax-9
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$11.62



Product Description

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, has been around for generations and is widely used in food production, cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals.  It is composed of several fatty acids which are derived from staric acid and palmitic acid.  It also contains oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat.

Origin/History

Cocoa butter is a vegetable oil derived from the cocoa bean.  The cocoa tree has been around since 1000 BC and the cocoa bean was first cultivated by the Mayans in what is now Central America.  They believed that the cocoa tree was a gift from God.  The cocoa bean was so valuable to the Mayan culture that they used the cocoa beans as their currency.  The Mayans were very innovative with the cocoa beans.  They used it to create chocolate drinks that became an indulgence of the wealthy and esteemed.  They also used it on their skin to moisturize and heal ailments.  Many indigenous cultures praised the cocoa bean, but they Mayans were the first to really utilize it. 

Christopher Columbus and his crew came across cocoa beans in 1502 when they came across the Honduran coast.  An Aztec chief presented the cocoa beans (amongst other items) to Columbus as a greeting.  Despite the obvious value the Aztec’s placed on the cocoa beans, the Columbus crew was not impressed.  It wasn’t until 1519 when Hernan Cortez arrived at the Gulf of Campeche in Mexico where he was presented with cocoa beans that the cocoa bean was brought back to the Spanish Court.  The civilization welcomed the cocoa bean and adapted its chocolate drink to their preferences by adding vanilla, cane sugar and cinnamon.  This was the beginning of the culture of European chocolate. 

The cocoa bean spread throughout Europe in the 17th-19th centuries.  As more and more of the European countries received cocoa bean, chocolate became a huge part of European culture.  They began to experiement and created not only chocolate drinks, but also what we know to be chocolate bars today.  As more and more people experimented with the cocoa bean, its uses became more widespread.  In 1828, Conrad Von Houten created the cocoa press, which extracted a purer form of cocoa butter.  This is when cocoa butter begun to be widely used.

 

Cocoa butter is still widely used today in cosmetic and toiletry products as well as some pharmaceutical products. 

Extraction/Types

To create cocoa butter from the cocoa bean, the cocoa beans are roasted and their shells are removed.  The remaining component of the cocoa bean is then cooked.  The cooking time and temperature varies depending on the desired texture and color.  Once they’ve been cooked, they are put through one of a variety of extraction processes.  Depending on the extraction process, a different type of cocoa butter is created: natural, deodorized and refined.  Natural cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa bean and refined for purity.  It has a yellowish brown color and a rich chocolate scent.  Deodorized cocoa butter is simply that: natural cocoa butter that has been deodorized, but has not undergone any further refinement.  Refined cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa bean and fully refined to remove the odor and bleach the color.  It has very little aroma and is white in color making it a great choice for lotions and cosmetic products. 

Uses/Benefits

Cocoa butter is the primary ingredient in the manufacturing of chocolate today.  Chocolate production is the main use of cocoa butter, however, it is also widely used in toiletries, cosmetic products and pharmaceuticals as well. 

Cocoa butter’s moisturizing properties and silky texture make it ideal for use in lip balms and lotions.  It works to hydrate and moisturize the skin.  Cocoa butter is particularly useful for reducing the appearance of stretch marks; pregnant women often rely on cocoa butter to help reduce stretch marks as their skin stretches.  Cocoa butter is also frequently to treat skin conditions including dermatitis and eczema; the antioxidants in cocoa butter help the body fend off free radicals.  Several sunscreen products use cocoa butter as a moisturizing agent while tanning oils use it as a tanning agent.  The versatility of cocoa butter makes it a great product with a variety of uses. 

Many soaps use cocoa butter because it lathers well and helps keep skin moisturized.  Additionally, it adds firmness to the soap.  Only a small amount of cocoa butter is required to make a big difference in the soap lathering quality and hardness.

Cocoa butter’s unique physical properties make it an ideal component from some pharmaceutical products.  For example, cocoa butter is a solid at room temperature, but it melts at body temperature, which makes it perfect for suppositories.  Several medicinal creams and lotions use cocoa butter as a base as well.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa_butter

http://www.amica.fi/en/Feel-well/We-adhere-to-nutritional-recommendations/Good-fats-care-for-your-heart-/Fazer--working-to-improve-fat-quality/The-fatty-acid-composition-of-cocoa-butter/

http://www.cocoa-butter.com/history-of-cocoa-butter

http://www.medicinehunter.com/brief-history-cocoa

http://www.veria.com/healing/cocoa-butter-benefits-and-uses

http://jollyafrica.com/cocoa-butter-101-extraction-production-uses-and-benefits

 

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