Why is Cocoa De-Oiled? Everything About The Different Types of Cocoa

In order for cocoa to become cocoa powder, it has to be de-oiled. In the end, you get low or low-fat cocoa powder, which is suitable for various preparations.

This is how cocoa is de-oiled

Cocoa powder is obtained from cocoa beans. Due to their high-fat content, however, the beans cannot be dried and ground directly. In order to turn the beans into cocoa powder, which you can use in baking, for example, most of the fat, the cocoa butter, must first be removed from the bean. This process is called “de-oiling”.

  • The beans have to be fermented so that the raw cocoa beans can break down bitter substances and get their well-known chocolaty taste. To do this, after harvesting, they are first stored for seven to ten days with the white pulp of the cocoa fruit surrounding them at a high temperature, until the pulp begins to ferment.
  • The beans are then dried in the sun for one to two weeks. To increase the intensity of the cocoa aromas, the beans are roasted after drying.
  • After roasting, the beans are ground. Due to the high-fat content, you do not get cocoa powder directly, but first the viscous cocoa mass.
  • Depending on how much cocoa butter was pressed out, in the next step the press mass is ground and sieved several times to make the cocoa powder too weak or strong.

Cocoa powder: These are the differences

Cocoa powder can be de-oiled to varying degrees. Depending on how much cocoa butter remains in the powder, one speaks of heavily or slightly de-oiled cocoa powder. Due to the different fat content, the two types have different tastes and vary in their areas of application.

  • Low-fat cocoa powder contains no more than 10% fat. It is cheaper than the fat-rich variety and is characterized by a rather tart and bitter chocolate taste. The lower fat content means it has fewer calories and is more soluble in liquids, making it good for baking.
  • The fat content of slightly de-oiled cocoa powder is at least 20%. Because it contains more cocoa butter, it is often called fine cocoa and tastes a bit milder and fuller. It is, therefore, better suited for the production of hot drinking chocolate.
  • Since cocoa is usually only used in small amounts due to its strong taste, both types of cocoa are about equally healthy. Cocoa powder contains the minerals magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron.
  • You should not confuse cocoa powder with the soluble cocoa-based drink powder, which is already mixed with sugar and other ingredients and only needs to be infused with milk. For the sake of simplicity, this is also called cocoa powder by many, but only partly consists of cocoa.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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