How does chocolate melt?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how does chocolate melt” with an in-depth analysis of how chocolate melts. Moreover, we are going to discuss why chocolate melts, how fast chocolate melts, and why different chocolates have different melting points.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How does chocolate melt?

Chocolate melts at a low temperature and if you have noticed, the chocolate even melts in your mouth and gives you that creamy mouthfeel. In general, the temperature at which the chocolate softens is 85 degrees Fahrenheit while the chocolate melts at about 93 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit. Apart from the additives, sugar, or preservatives added to the chocolate, the two main constituents of the chocolate are cocoa butter and cocoa solids.

Cocoa butter is unsaturated plant fat and it solidifies once it reaches its freezing point and its freezing point is about the same as that of room temperature. So once the temperature gets high, the molecules of the cocoa butter will start to lose their geometric arrangement and the cocoa butter will start to melt, thereby the chocolate also melts. 

So what happens is that when you heat the chocolate, the cocoa butter present in the formulation of the chocolate melts, thereby melting the chocolate.  But you should be really careful while melting the chocolate because if you melt the chocolate at a high temperature, there are chances that the cocoa solids present in the formulation of the chocolate will get burned and will separate from the golden-brown liquid. 

You can read how to melt chocolate here.

Why does chocolate melt?

So the chocolate preparation starts with the cocoa tree (Theobroma Cacao) which produces seeds known as cocoa beans. The cocoa bean is the one that is responsible for the bitter taste and the flavor of the chocolate. The fat from the cocoa bean is utilized to make a light yellow, edible vegetable fat called cocoa butter. 

While cocoa butter is the one used in white chocolate and is essentially made up of fat and does not have much flavor to it.

Cocoa butter is the by-product of chocolate creation. But it is esteemed and valuable in chocolate as well as pharmaceuticals and beauty products. Cocoa butter is normally sifted and dyed with dirt minerals that leach out any remaining color of it. It is then deodorized through steam distillation or solvents. This deodorizing process decreases the number of volatile substances to a great extent that adds to its characteristic smell and aroma. Cocoa butter stays stable at room temperature as it has a lot of saturated and monounsaturated unsaturated fats in its composition. Along with that, it contains the three important fatty acids, Oleic acid, Stearic acid, and Palmitic acid.

Oleic acid is the unsaturated fatty acid and the chocolate variants in which it is present in large amounts, it will lower the melting point of the cocoa butter and resultantly the melting point of the chocolate also decreases.  

So the chocolate manufacturers can change the measures of every unsaturated fat to make a chocolate that softens just in the mouth, and not on store racks. Chocolate is a strong combination that incorporates cocoa butter, cocoa solids, sugar, milk solids, added flavors, modifiers, and additives.

How fast does chocolate melt?

Chocolate melts really fast, the softening temperature of the chocolate is about  85 degrees Fahrenheit and the melting point of the chocolate is about 93 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why different chocolates have different melting points?

Different chocolates have different melting points because the quantity of cocoa butter and cocoa solids present in their formulation is also different. Chocolate containing a higher amount of cocoa butter in its formulation will melt the fastest.

For instance, dark chocolate contains the highest cocoa solids present in it and does not contain any added milk or other additives, so it is the most nutritious one and has a melting point of about 90 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. 

In the case of the milk chocolate, it has added milk and sugar along with the cocoa solids and cocoa butter present in its formulation due to which its melting point raises a bit more than the white chocolate, and it has a melting point of about 86 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

White chocolate is devoid of cocoa solids and only contains cocoa butter along with milk, sugar, and preservatives in its formulation, thereby it does not provide significant health benefits and it has the lowest melting point. The melting point of the chocolates also differs from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how does chocolate melt” with an in-depth analysis of how chocolate melts. Moreover, we discussed why chocolate melts, how fast chocolate melts, and why different chocolates have different melting points.

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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.

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