GEORGE TOWN, March 12 (Bernama) -- A team of researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) has invented cocoa butter replacer (CBR) extracted from mango seed fat with palm stearin blends.
Head researcher from the School of Industrial Technology, Prof Dr Ir Mohd Omar Ab Kadir said cocoa butter was a highly demanded fat among tropical plant fats, but its world production was decreasing due to cultivation difficulties.
"According to the Malaysian Cocoa Board, land for cocoa cultivation has decreased to 10,000 hectares from 12,000 hectares from 2010 to 2013," he told reporters here Wednesday.
Furthermore, he said the price of cocoa of RM10,000 per tonne currently was expensive due to lack of supply, adding that CBR from mango seed fat could be one of the options for chocolate, confectionary and cosmetics industries.
Dr Mohd Omar said the research that started in 1990 showed CBR extracted from mango seed fat and palm stearin blends via supercritical carbon dioxide (SC-CO2), had similarity in texture and taste with pure cocoa butter.
He said his research teams would work together with USM's School of Health Sciences to test and use CBR for food production as well as developing end-products using CBR from mango seed fat.
Dr Mohd Omar said using mango seed fat would be practical for CBR amid the environmental friendly process, low production cost as well as stable and continuous supply.
He said the palm stearin extracted from palm kernel cake, which was usually exported for animal feed, had the potential to be developed into palm kernal fiber and grinding it to flour for bread making.
Dr Mohd Omar also said he was researching on developing a system using SC-CO2 to reuse and recycle clinical solid waste, which would be able to reduce the operation cost of hospitals and clinics.
He said using the SC-CO2 process would not only sterilise clinical solid waste but also kill bacteria and a study showed that there was no grow of bacteria after two months.