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Cocoa butter substitutes (CBS) are fats designed to to have similar physical properties to cocoa butter, but very different chemical composition .This means that they are hard at room temperature, yet have relatively low melting point so that they melt quickly in the mouth. In practical terms, their main difference from CBE is that they are incompatible with cocoa butter and so can only be used in the formulation of substitute chocolate. Substitute chocolate is made with cocoa powder rather than cocoa mass and so it lacks the rich flavour of real chocolate. But CBS fats have one big advantage: they do not need tempering and so products based on them can be made on simpler machinery.

There are two main types of CBS, lauric and non-lauric high trans, often called CBX. The latter have higher melting points and may taste rather waxy, but they tolerate some cocoa mass and so can have better flavour. Buyers should always ask to see the manufacturer's specifications, especially for fatty acid composition and full solid fat content profile.