When it comes to chocolate everybody loves them, what makes them irresistible to eat is the soothing taste it gives as soon as it touches the tongue. But did you ever wonder how chocolates are made to taste so rich?
Researchers at the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, found the physical process of melting chocolate in the mouth as soon as it goes inside. They expect to make chocolates luxurious, tasty, and at the same time healthy too.
In the first instance of eating it, a sensation arises in the mouth when chocolate and its ingredients touch the saliva. In respect of tactile sensation, fat is more important only when a piece of chocolate comes in contact with the tongue and as the solid cocoa particles are released. It plays a rather limited role in giving a deeper effect.
How is lubrication important in the process?
She elaborated that even if chocolate has 5 percent or 50 percent fat it will still create drops in the mouth which gives the chocolatey sensation. The location of the fat in the process of making the chocolate is the main factor that contributes to smooth texture at each step. However, this needs to be researched more. She said that to make chocolate feel good, the fat layer needs to be outside of the chocolate, followed by a convincing taste of cocoa particles.
The physical process when chocolate touches the tongue
Tests were conducted on dark chocolate of a luxury brand through a 3D tongue-like structure, by the university itself where the researchers used some analytical skills of Tribology. Tribology is a study from the field of engineering that finds how surfaces and fluids interact, the importance of lubrication, and the level of friction between them.
Image Wikimedia Commons
When chocolate comes in contact with the tongue, it releases a fatty fluid that covers the tongue and other surfaces in the mouth. It is this fatty fluid that makes the chocolate feel smooth throughout the entire time it is in the mouth. Hence Tribology plays a crucial role in this process.
Dr. Siavash Soltanahmadi, from the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds and the lead researcher in the study, said that they are looking to make chocolates a next-generation thing by restoring their original taste and at the same time, making them healthier by understanding the physical agents that create the sensation in the mouth.
According to research from the business intelligence agency MINTEL, the turnover of chocolate sales in the UK is forecast to grow over the next five years. The Chocolates Sales in the UK are expected to grow 13% between 2022 and 2027 to reach £6.6 billion. The researchers believe the physical procedures used in the study could be applied to the experiment of other foodstuffs that undergo a phase change, where a substance is converted from a solid to a liquid, such as ice cream or cheese.
The study is published in the journal of ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces Lubrication.
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