The difference between chocolate and confectionery coatings is, simply, fat. Chocolate’s fat is cocoa butter, and a confectionery coating uses an alternate fat such as vegetable oils like palm kernel oil. This makes a difference in how the two are handled.

“Cocoa butter is a polymorphic fat, meaning it needs to be tempered,” said Mark Adriaenssens, vice-president, R&D, Barry Callebaut. “Most compound or confectionery coatings are made with other vegetable fats that do not need to be tempered.”

However, Mr. Adriaenssens pointed out, a good cooling is required for success with compound coatings, too. Cooling after enrobing or moulding a compound generally requires a colder temperature and more air velocity than chocolate.

The melting point and profile of fats that do not require tempering can be varied to create compounds that are more robust in terms of temperature variations.

“Therefore, coatings are more flexible, particularly in applications where storage and distribution is not temperature-controlled,” said Stacey Kidd, marketing communications manager, Blommer Chocolate.