Cocoa butter, also called the obroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure, edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries. Cocoa butter has a mild chocolate flavor and aroma.
Cocoa butter is the major ingredient in the commercial production of both white chocolate and milk chocolate. This application continues to dominate consumption of cocoa butter.
Pharmaceutical companies exploit cocoa butter's physical properties. As a nontoxic solid at room temperature that melts at body temperature, it is considered an ideal base for medicinal suppositories.
Cocoa butter is one of the most stable fats known, a quality that coupled with natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity, grants it a storage life of two to five years. The velvety texture, pleasant fragrance and emollient properties of cocoa butter have made it a popular ingredient in products for the skin, such as cosmetics, soaps and lotions.
The moisturizing abilities of cocoa butter are frequently recommended for prevention of stretch marks in pregnant women, treatment of chapped skin and lips, and as a daily moisturizer to prevent dry, itchy skin. However, the largest clinical study regarding the effects of cocoa butter on stretch marks in pregnant women found that results were no different from placebo.