Cocoa butter equivalents (CBE) are mixtures of triglycerides from multiple sources (e.g., sunflower oil, mango kernel and sal), which resemble cocoa butter (CB) in both physical and chemical properties. Despite being widely used to replace CB in chocolate products, the crystallization behavior of many CBEs is still poorly understood. The aim of this work was to develop a fundamental understanding, at the molecular level, of the crystallization behavior of selected CBEs, and compare it with that of CB. Chromatography was used to determine the composition of CBEs, in terms of fatty acids and triacylglycerides (TAGs), while their thermodynamic behavior and crystallization kinetics were studied using polarized microscopy, differential calorimetry and three different synchrotron X-ray scattering setups. CBEs of different origin and chemical composition (e.g., different ratios of the main CB TAGs, namely POP, SOS and POS) crystallized in different polymorphs and with different kinetics of nucleation, growth and polymorphic transformation....

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