AAK releases COBAOPure, a cocoa butter that delivers improved bloom-retarding effects in applications including milk and dark chocolate tablets, coated and filled products, and dark chocolate with nuts.
It delays migration and heat-related bloom, extending the shelf life by 50-400% depending on recipe, processing techniques and storage conditions.
The ingredient is reportedly beneficial in the premium chocolate segment.
Sales of premium chocolate are growing three times faster than standard chocolate, presenting a market opportunity.
Milk fat is commonly-used as a bloom retarder but presents a number of challenges.
Unlike milk fat, for example, COBAO Pure will not change the sensory qualities of the end product or cause excessive softening, particularly in dark chocolate applications.
It is also free from lactose and other allergens, providing an option for the free-from category.
The ingredient is a deodorized 100% cocoa butter that is compatible with other cocoa butters and needs only to replace an amount of the existing cocoa butter in a recipe.
On-pack, it should be labelled ‘cocoa butter’, in contrast to milk fat and other anti-blooming agents like cocoa butter equivalents and emulsifiers, which require a separate declaration on the ingredients list.
Meanwhile, blooming in chocolate is a whitening that can occur over the shelf life of a product, especially if it is stored at varying temperatures.
While it is not dangerous, blooming is unsightly and may be unappetizing for consumers.
It also has a negative impact on the overall sensory quality of the chocolate.
The shelf life of a standard dark chocolate is usually set at around 10 to 12 months, but tests show this can fall to as low as one to three months when storage temperatures rise by just 2–3°C.
However, the addition of COBAO Pure in the recommended range of 8-12% of the used cocoa butter retards blooming, extends shelf life and significantly reduces a product’s sensitivity to higher storage temperatures.