The problem of chocolate melting in hot climates could soon be a thing of the past, according to a study undertaken by Brazilian scientists.
Published in the January issue of the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology, the study suggests the use of hard-fats in products containing cocoa butter may be sufficient to alter the chemical structure so that chocolate could become heat-resistant.
The study assessed the fatty acid and triacylglycerol compositions of a number of fully-hydrogenated oils, including parm kernel oil, palm oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil and crambe oil.
All but palm kernel oil were effective in raising the “melting point, solid fat profiles, microstructure, and consistency” when blended with cocoa butter.
The study found while formulations of chocolate have a melting point of 33.8°C, the addition of hard-fats in future formulations could surpass this temperature, as reported in Australian Food News.
According to the study, the addition of hardfats as crystallisation additives in existing cocoa butter formulations will advance the heat resistance and hardness of products, which is often necessary when commercialised in regions with warm climates or with large variations in temperature.
“The hard-fats may act as potential modulations of cocoa butter crystallisation, aiming to obtain higher quality products and significant cost reduction of industrial processing,” the study states.
In December 2012, engineers from gobal chocolate company Cadbury developed a melt-proof recipe that remains solid even when exposed to temperatures in excess of 40°C for more than three hours.
The company said the new chocolate will allow easier storage and transport, and enhance sales in the summer months when the temperature exceeds melting point.