Cacao Fat Bloom
The art of blooming

What is Cacao Fat Blooming

As cacao a enthusiast, while delving deeper into the world of pure ceremonial cacao, you may have been surprised with this phenomenon that doesn’t happen with industrial chocolate. In this article we will explore what cacao fat bloom is, its causes, and consequences.

 You might have wondered what is this sort of white pellicule that forms on the outer surface of your pure cacao blocks. Sometimes these patterns look amazing. Some say they are the cacao paste adorning itself with an always different inspiration of natural motifs and epic shapes, an ever evolving piece of art. But most times this original occurrence is perceived as an unknown scary phenomenon quite similar to mold. Or believed to be a sign of the cacao maybe going stale or rancid. 

 Well let us reassure you once and for all here. This phenomenon is commonly called “cacao fat blooming”. It is a completely natural phenomenon for unrefined cacao and doesn’t deteriorate the quality of your cacao. It might slightly affect the texture of the exterior layer of the paste. It is the visual expression of the fact that cacao butter is made of different forms of fat. 

These fats crystallize separately when the paste becomes set after being poured into the molds. 

By the way, this is one of the many differences between ceremonial cacao and industrial chocolate  Its natural fats haven’t been pressed out. For nutrient rich cacaos coming from alive and diverse ecosystems like ours, fat content represents up to 45% of the mass.

 But why does it separate and crystallizes in cool patterns ? Well let’s break down our observation on this fascinating phenomenon, but first let us detail a few aspects:

Cacao Butter Composition: 

Cocoa butter is composed of different fatty acids, mainly stearic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. They have different properties for the human body. Each one of them also has an effect on the assimilation of the rest of the many beneficial compounds present in cacao. These fatty acids can exist in different crystalline forms. Mainly six different crystallizations.


 Polymorphism refers to the ability of a substance, in this case, cacao butter, to exist in multiple crystalline structures. Cacao butter exhibits polymorphism with six different crystal forms, which have different melting points. 

The famous process of tempering is about homogenizing the different crystal forms into one (curious about tempering ? We will explain it in a further article). Therefore, as the cacao paste sets after being poured into the molds, the different crystallizations form in different chains. Some of them are visible on the exterior layer of the paste as they contrast with the others that have a darker color because they contain more of the rest of cacao compounds.

 Chocolate industry has invested enormous resources in establishing processes to avoid the natural fat bloom to occur. For entirely superficial and aesthetical reasons. 

We believe that these beautiful patterns are like a piece of art because we cherish the beauty of authenticity. 

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