Global speciality oils and fats supplier Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC) has launched a shea-only cocoa butter equivalent (CBE), the company announced on 3 December.

A plant-based sustainably-sourced ingredient, Karibon is a patent-pending 100% shea-based CBE aimed at the chocolate confectionery sector.

As it is 100% shea-based, BLC said the new ingredient improved a chocolate product’s nutritional value as it contained more stearic acid and had lower levels of saturated fats compared to cocoa butter and other more commonly used CBEs.

“Karibon is an important step in Bunge Loders Croklaan’s drive toward powering the future of responsible chocolate confectionery while offering chocolate manufacturers an ingredient that is economically viable and guarantees the processing benefits of leading CBEs in the market,” BLC global marketing director Rafael Zegarra said.

“Shea has a stronger compatibility with cocoa butter and improved bloom stability, enabling smoother processing,” added BLC’s global confectionery innovation lead Imro‘t Zand.

BLC has been a shea processor for more than 50 years in the West Africa region. It operates as the global edible oils business of US agribusiness giant Bunge and its products are used in a wide range of applications, from bakery and confectionery to culinary and infant nutrition.