ISO 11053:2009—Cocoa Butter Equivalents In Milk Chocolate

Assorted chocolate bar and chunks made with cocoa butter equivalents adhering to the method in ISO 11053:2009.

“Chocolate” and “cacao” come originally from the Nahuatl words “Xocoatl” and “Cacahoatl,” which refer to the bitter and spicy mix that the Aztecs made with cacao beans and water. Cacao was in fact a daily bitter drink for Mesoamerican societies like the Olmecs and Mayans. Chocolate began to become a sweet, rich-tasting treat—mixed with milk, honey, vanilla and sugar—after it became popular in Europe and colonial America when Christopher Columbus carried the cocoa bean to Spain in the 16th century. Now, the delicacy is most commonly recognized a solid, shaped like a bar, with different degrees of sweetness. ISO 11053:2009—Vegetable Fats And Oils – Determination Of Cocoa Butter Equivalents In Milk Chocolate details a method for the detection and quantification of cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs) and milk fat in milk chocolate.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is the fat that naturally occurs in cocoa beans. It contributes to the texture, richness, and melt-in-your-mouth quality of chocolate as well as the properties of chocolate responsible for the gloss, texture, and typical melting point behavior of chocolate. The percentage of cocoa butter varies in different types of chocolate, from around 50-55% in unsweetened chocolate to 20-25% in milk and white chocolate. It is the most expensive ingredient used in the production of chocolates. Besides the use of cocoa butter, the addition of cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs), like vegetable fats, also affects the physical and sensory properties of chocolate. A CBE should allow processing of chocolate products in an identical manner to that of cocoa butter-based products, and ISO 11053:2009 species a method to quantified the amount of CBE used in chocolate production.

What Is ISO 11053?

ISO 11053:2009 specifies a procedure for the detection and quantification of cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs) and milk fat in milk chocolate. Cocoa butter equivalents are non-cocoa vegetable oils and fats detected in milk chocolate in accordance with the procedure prescribed in this standard. The method in ISO 11053:2009 covers is by triacylglycerol profiling using high-resolution capillary gas-liquid chromatography and subsequent data evaluation by simple and partial least-squares regression analysis. CBE admixtures can be detected at a minimum level of 0.5 g CBE/100 g milk chocolate and quantified at a level of 5 % mass fraction CBE addition to milk chocolate with a predicted error of 0.7 g CBE/100 g milk chocolate.

Milk Chocolate

Milk chocolate is normally a much lighter color than plain chocolate, and it is possible to make a chocolate lighter by adding more milk powder. It is also possible, by choosing the correct cocoa and roasting conditions, to produce a plain chocolate with the same color as a milk one. The color of most cocoa powders is controlled by the alkalizing process that involves treating cocoa beans with an alkalizing agent, such as potassium carbonate, sodium carbonate, or sodium bicarbonate. The purpose of this process is to adjust the pH level of the cacao beans, which can have several effects on the resulting cocoa powder. Although the majority of cocoa liquor used in chocolate making is unalkalized some products do contain alkalized liquor in order to achieve the desired color.

Further, varying levels of sugar added impacts the sensory characteristics— sweetness flavor, texture, sweet aroma, chocolate favor, and creamy appearance—of milk chocolate. In a study, it was found that the samples containing the highest concentrations of added sugar were more preferred than those with lower sugar levels.

Sensory Qualities of Chocolate

During the estimation of quality of chocolates, the chemical and physical parameters and the sensory quality must be evaluated (i.e., appearance – color, flavor, texture) immediately after production and during storage. Sensory properties of chocolate are considered to be among the most important parameters when defining general chocolate quality. General sensory acceptance or a customer’s likeability are key factors for successful placement of a chocolate on the market. Chocolate is consumed by consumers mainly for pleasure (i.e., enjoyment) and, far less, for its nutritive value. Here are how our senses may impact our decision to purchase chocolate:

  • Sight: If a chocolate does not look glossy or worse still if it is bloomed, it is unlikely to be purchased. Vision can even affect taste, with lighter colored chocolate sometimes appearing to taste creamier than darker ones.
  • Touch: Touch is related to how a chocolate breaks and also its behavior in the mouth. This includes the snap of a chocolate bar as well as whether it melts away smoothly or is harder to swallow.
  • Smell: The smell/aroma of chocolate is very attractive to most people, but if it is contaminated by burnt odors or chemical taints the product can become totally unpalatable.
  • Taste: The cocoa, milky, sweet, acidic etc., flavors combine to give a unique tasting experience and is arguably the most important sensorial quality.

ISO 11053:2009—Vegetable Fats And Oils – Determination Of Cocoa Butter Equivalents In Milk Chocolate is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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