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pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat obtained from cocoa beans, having a mild chocolate flavour and aroma, and used in the manufacture of chocolate confections, pharmaceutical ointments, and toiletries. It is valued for its melting characteristics, remaining brittle at room temperature or lower but melting just below body temperature. One of the most stable fats known, cocoa butter contains antioxidants that discourage rancidity and allow storage life of two to five years. Its use with other fats improves their stability. Treatment of cocoa butter to remove aroma and colour also removes antioxidants, increasing susceptibility to rancidity.