Louisville, KY — COBAO Pure is a new cocoa butter from AAK AB that delivers improved bloom-retarding effects in a range of applications including milk and dark chocolate tablets, coated and filled products and dark chocolate with nuts, according to the company. It delays migration and heat-related bloom, extending the shelf life between 50 and 400 percent depending on recipe, processing techniques and storage conditions, the company adds.
It is anticipated the ingredient will be particularly beneficial in the premium chocolate segment, the company notes, adding sales of premium chocolate are growing three times faster than standard chocolate.
Marco Oomen, AAK global business director for chocolate and confectionery fats, says: “Consumers expect products to look as good as they taste so blooming poses a risk to revenue and brand perception. As a product moves down the supply chain, storage temperatures can fluctuate, so an effective bloom retarder is a must. COBAO Pure delivers excellent bloom-retarding capabilities without the formulation and labelling drawbacks of some other ingredients. It’s an exciting new solution that is set to make a real, positive difference in the chocolate category.”
Explaining the benefits of COBAO, the company says milk fat is commonly used as a bloom retarder but presents a number of challenges. Unlike milk fat, COBAO Pure will not change the sensory qualities of the end product or cause excessive softening making it especially suitable for dark chocolate applications. It is also free from lactose and other allergens.
The product is a fully deodorized 100 percent cocoa butter compatible with other cocoa butters, AAK reports, adding that on-pack, it can be labelled ‘cocoa butter.’
Blooming, a common problem in chocolate, is a whitening that can occur over the shelf life of a product, especially if it is stored at varying temperatures – something that is difficult for chocolate manufacturers to control once the product has left their factory, AAK explains. While it is not dangerous, blooming is unsightly and can be unappetizing for consumers, it says, adding 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° to 3°C. The company maintains that the addition of COBAO Pure in a recommended range of 8 to 12 percent of the used cocoa butter retards blooming, extends shelf life and significantly reduces a product’s sensitivity to higher storage temperatures. C&ST