A team of physicists discovered an unconventional method to remove fat from liquid chocolate: by using electricity. Moreover, the scientists managed to reduce fat by 20%.
A consultancy company hired by Mars Inc. contacted a physicist from Temple University to develop a new method of improving chocolate viscosity.
The problem raised was very technical. Chocolate needed to be fluid in order to travel through the pipes used in the production process.
The Electric Chocolate
The physicists tested a method that overcame their contractor’s expectancy, as the chocolate flowed easier through pipes and it was also less fat than the regular chocolate, without changing its composition.
With no change in recipe, the researchers cut down 20% of the chocolate’s fat content.
The scientists focused on smart fluids, liquids that can be transformed by the use of electricity. For example, some oils thicken when they receive electric shocks.
The microscopic composition of liquid chocolate includes suspended solid particles contained in cocoa butter oil. As the particles can mix and unify in a solid mass of not so tasty cocoa solids, the butter helps in keeping the composition perfectly balanced.
The Chocolate Flow
Those who like to cook know that cocoa solids are not delicious all by themselves. They have a robust flavor that needs to be softened by the use of other ingredients, such as milk, butter, or sugar.
Chocolate in itself is not just a mix of tastes, but a combination of flavors, textures, and ingredients that produce a particular biological effect. Sweets consume energy in the body; cocoa increases tension, and the two of them together create a surprising physiological effect that in turn produces pleasure.
Inside the milk chocolate composition, the solid components gained a magnetic behavior after being subjected to electrical shocks. The pieces of cocoa flattened and lined into long chains that enhanced the flow of the chocolate.
How Does Fat Taste?
A regular chocolate would contain at least 36% fat. By using the electrical method, the scientists managed to get a fat level of 28% in chocolate, which is a significant drop and may also make chocolate safer to consume.
Some experts are skeptical about the method’s effects on taste. Food scientists say that the modifications brought to the cocoa butter by electrical shocks may alter the mouth-melting experience.
The cocoa butter melts at body temperature, and changing the amount of cocoa butter in the chocolate would also affect this experience. With less cocoa butter in the chocolate, people would feel more the taste of other ingredients that are secondary to the main melting sensation.
It remains to be seen if the new electric chocolate would create less pleasure than the classic fatter one. Until then, the option to eat cocoa butter with the spoon being also out of the question for obvious reasons, chocolate lovers would have to wait to have the first taste to get an opinion.
The myth of tasty low-fat chocolate may be proven to be not so unrealistic.
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