Physicochemical Studies of Fat Extracted from Cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) Seeds and Its Use in Drug and Cosmetic Production

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Panee Sirisa-ard
Suporn Charumanee
Sirivipa Piyamongkol
San Laongsri
Kiatisak Polsongklam


The objectives of this research were to study the potential of domestically produced cocoa butter extracted
from cocoa seeds, explore physicochemical properties, develop and evaluate cocoa-derived cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. The study found that the average size of cocoa pod c.v. I.M.1 hybrid was 7.43 cm wide and 13.44 cm long with the average weight of 253.42g. The pod appearance was healthy and contained about 31.35 seeds per pod. The ratio of the weight of fresh to dried cocoa seeds was 3:1. Oil extraction from cocoa seeds yielded 33% (w/w) cocoa seed oil. The highest fatty acid component in cocoa butter was stearic acid (C18:0), with the amount of 37.47% that influenced the physical appearance of the oil to be solid. In addition, other components were oleic acid (35%) and linoleic acid (3%), which possess skin-nourishing property. Cocoa butter existed in 3 polymorphs, i.e. b- (34.7 ˚C), b’- (27.8 ˚C) and g-form (38 ˚C); and the b-form was the most stable and most abundant at room temperature (28 ˚C). The amount of polyphenols in cocoa butter obtained by screw-pressed method was 2.25 ± 0.04 mg gallic acid equivalent per 100g cocoa butter. The 50% inhibition constant was 0.12 ± 0.01 mg/mL and Trolox equivalent antioxidant activity was 72.61 ± 5.00 mM Trolox per 100g cocoa butter. Cocoa butter was used as base
in the formulation of aspirin suppository. The product appeared to be smooth and shiny from the outside. When the product was cut into half, aspirin spread homogeneously all over the product. The product disintegrated within 30 min, which is within the standard range. Furthermore, cocoa butter was added into cream base for cosmetic production using soap as an emulsifying agent. The product texture was light, creamy, and physically stable in six storage conditions for 3 months. It was suggested that an anti-rancidity agent should be added into the product as cocoa butter can be oxidized and kept in a dark and cool place. It is recommended that a further study on the cost-effectiveness analysis should be undertaken and more cocoa butter production should be supported to replace imported cocoa butter in the future.


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