What does it look like?
What is it?
Ok, yes you’ve got us. We have already feature the structure of cocoa butter before, in fact it was our first post. But unlike that first form (type V), you won’t be too happy to find this arrangement of cocoa butter in your chocolate. This is type VI cocoa butter, which is the cause of fat bloom when chocolate heats up. We’ve all left a chocolate bar out in the sun at some point, seen it’s gone a bit squidgy and popped it into the fridge – only to be disappointed later when eating it later that it doesn’t quite taste right. Part of the reason for that is that type VI cocoa butter has a higher melting temperature, so this one doesn’t quite melt on our tongues. When tempering chocolate, it’s important to keep the temperature at the right temperature to promote the crystallisation of the ‘right’ form type V. There’s a super description of this process here.
Where did the structure come from?
This structure is from a paper by van Mechelen et al. This journal, one of those published by the International union of crystallography, makes it easy to access the 3d structures of all the structures published in it, you can play with the ‘wrong’ cocoa butter structures here.