To obtain organic cocoa finished products that necessitate in their composition the mixture of other ingredients, as it’s happening in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical or even in foods industry, cocoa oil can be simply made by heating cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is dense, so to do that in good conditions without altering it, the melting process is usually made in double boiler recipients. Of course, if using this method, it will solidify again, after the cooling process and will melt again with body temperature. Persons preparing homemade recipes, for cosmetic use especially, use this procedure also.
If you need that the fats from the cocoa beans to be extracted from the very beginning in an oily liquid form and to remain in this form, the method used for oil extraction is solvent extraction. It is very common in large-scale operations to remove the oil from squeezed cocoa seeds at low temperature with a non-toxic fat solvent such as hexane.
When a plant contains very little oil or when the odorous properties of flavor and plant materials would be destroyed or altered by steam or water distillation, solvent extraction is used. The solvent is then percolated through the plant material in order to produce concrete. The plants constituents including oils, fatty acids and waxes are dissolved by the solvent. After the solvent is distilled off, the remaining constituents make up the concrete.
Alcohol is sometimes used to extract the oil from the other constituents. Since the waxes and fatty acids are not alcohol soluble, they are separated. The alcohol is of course released through the secondary distillation, leaving the cocoa oil behind.
Using cocoa oil could get benefits such as: relaxing the muscles, decreasing anxiety, anti-bacterial effect, anti-aging effect, an overall balance of the body and mind, creating a feeling of well being and contentment, clarity, aphrodisiac effect. The principal constituents of cocoa and its derivates together with their effects are the next ones:
- Arginine is the amino acid responsible for helping blood flow. It will also increase the sexual desire;
- Phenylethylamine, together with dopamine in the brain, give a feeling like being in love and levels up focus, intuition, along with a sentiment of well-being and satisfaction;
- Theobromine activates the neurosystem which then gives clear thoughts and relaxes muscles while speeding up the metabolism. It is an anti-aging ingredient and can also effectively prevent the growth of over 100 types of bacteria;
- Tryptophan is a mood enhancer that levels down anxiety;
- Anandimide produce a feeling of calm.
- Cocoa oil can also be used as a protector of the heart. Cardiovascular disease can use many different mechanisms that do affect the blood vessels functions. The oxidation of (bad) cholesterol by the free radicals, releases the air which stops the artery walls from hardening. Flavonoids act as a suppressant of the tendency for small blood cells to clump together forming blood clots. This is why cocoa oil is said to have an aspirin like effect.
- It is also proven that the flavonoids are used to treat diarrhea so cocoa and its derivates inhibits fluids that are found in the small intestine.
Cocoa oil consuming raises no health concern because:
- It is not on any of Good Guide’s lists of toxic chemicals which cause suspected or recognized health effects
- It isn’t a high production volume chemical that lacks safety data
- It hasn’t been detected in human urine or tissue.
Cocoa oil should be stored in dark, air-tight (preferably) glass recipients, tightly closed. It should be kept away from heat. If care is taken with storage, cocoa oil can last for up to 5 years. Anyhow remember to keep oils away from eyes and mucous membranes!