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Foreign fats in chocolate - Cocoa butter calculation (CoCal) toolboxes

Directive 2000/36/EC (Chocolate Directive) allows the addition of up to 5 % of vegetable fats other than cocoa butter, the so-called cocoa butter equivalents (CBEs), in chocolate. If CBEs are added, consumers have to be informed by appropriate labelling. Member States' laws, regulations and administrative provisions have had to comply with the new Chocolate Directive since August 2003.

Assessing compliance of chocolate products with the labelling provisions cannot be done without appropriate methods of analysis. The chemical composition and physical properties of the CBEs resemble those of cocoa butter very closely, making them extremely difficult to quantify and in some cases even difficult to detect. The IRMM has developed a reliable analytical approach to detect and quantify CBEs in dark and milk chocolate. The methods have been validated in international trials and reported in the EUR series:

  • Buchgraber, M. and Anklam, E., Validation of a method for the detection of cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate. Report on the validation study, Report EUR 20685 EN[350Kb], Belgium 2003.

  • Buchgraber, M. and Anklam, E., Validation of a method for the quantification of cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate, Report EUR 20777 EN[187Kb], Belgium 2003.

  • Buchgraber, M. and Androni, S., Validation of an analytical approach to determine cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate. Report on the final collaborative trial, Report EUR 22553 EN[1313Kb], Belgium 2006.

To facilitate deployment of this approach for the analytical chemist two toolboxes, named CoCal-1 and CoCal-2 have been established by the IRMM. The toolboxes are built on scientific research and enable the enforcement of Directive 2000/36/EC.

IRMM is also carrying out a survey on the correct labelling of foreign fats in dark and milk chocolate samples acquired from the European market using CoCal-1 and CoCal-2.

CoCal-1 for dark chocolate

CoCal-2 for milk chocolate

  • a standardised database covering compositional information on a wide range of authentic milk fat samples, and more than 900 mixtures thereof with other chocolate fats,

  • a description of a new validated method for the detection and quantification[826Kb] of milk fat and CBEs in milk chocolate,

  • a certified cocoa butter reference material ( IRMM-801), and

  • an electronic evaluation sheet[764Kb] to calculate the final result.

International Standards

ISO 11053 regarding Vegetable fats and oils - Determination of Cocoa Butter Equivalents in milk chocolate, 2009

ISO 23275-1. Animal and vegetable fats and oils - Cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate - Part 1: Determination of the presence of cocoa butter equivalents, 2006

ISO 23275-2. Animal and vegetable fats and oils - Cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate - Part 2: Quantification of cocoa butter equivalents, 2006

AOCS Official Method Ce 11a-07. Cocoa Butter Equivalents in Milk Chocolate by GC, 2007

AOCS Official Method Ce 11-05. Determination of Cocoa Butter Equivalents in Cocoa Butter and Plain Chocolate, 2005

Read more

Buchgraber, M., Androni, S., Determination of milk fat and cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate, Agro Food Industry Hi tech 19 (2008) 25-27

Buchgraber, M., and Androni, S., Gas-liquid chromatographic determination of milk fat and cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate: Interlaboratory study, Journal of AOAC International90 (2007) 1326-1339

Buchgraber, M. and Androni, S., CoCal-2 – A simple toolbox to prove authenticity of milk chocolate, Lipid Technology19 (2007) 80 - 83

Buchgraber, M., Androni, S. and Anklam, E., Quantification of milk fat in chocolate fats by triacylglycerol analysis using gas-liquid chromatography, Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry55 (2007) 3275-3283

Buchgraber, M., Androni, S., and Anklam, E., Determination of cocoa butter equivalents in milk chocolate by triacylglycerol profiling, Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry55 (2007) 3284-3291

Buchgraber, M., Ulberth, F. and Anklam, E., Method validation for detection and quantification of cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate, Journal of AOAC International87 (2004) 1164-1172

Buchgraber, M., Senaldi, C., Ulberth, F. and Anklam, E., Detection and quantification of cocoa butter equivalents in cocoa butter and plain chocolate by gas liquid chromatography of triacylglycerols, Journal of AOAC International87 (2004) 1153-1163

Buchgraber, M., Ulberth, F. and Anklam, E., Cluster analysis for the systematic grouping of genuine cocoa butter and cocoa butter equivalent samples based on triglyceride patterns, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry52 (2004) 3855-3860

Buchgraber, M., Ulberth, F. and Anklam, E., Interlaboratory evaluation of injection techniques for triglyceride analysis of cocoa butter by capillary gas chromatography, Journal of ChromatographyA 1036 (2004) 197-203

Koeber, R., Buchgraber, M., Ulberth, F., Barcarolo, R., Bernreuther, A., Schimmel , H. and Anklam, E., The certification of the content of five triglycerides in cocoa butter, Report EUR 20781 EN, Belgium 2003

Buchgraber, M., Ulberth, F., Anklam, E., Capillary GLC a robust method to characterise the triglyceride profile of cocoa butter - Results of an intercomparison study, European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology 105 (2003) 754-760

Lipp, M. and Anklam, E., Review on cocoa butter and alternatives for use in chocolate. Part A: Compositional data, Food Chemistry62 (1998) 73-97

Lipp, M. and Anklam, E., Review on cocoa butter and alternatives for use in chocolate. Part B, Methods of analysis, Food Chemistry62 (1998) 99-108

Lipp, M., Simoneau, C., Ulberth, F. and Anklam, E., Possibilities and limits to detect cocoa butter equivalents in mixture with cocoa butter, Report EUR 18992 EN, Belgium 1999

Latest update 1 March, 2006

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