Even low fat chocolate is no less tasty


Do you like chocolate? This is also a question. Let’s ask it this way: why do you love chocolate? because of its sweetness? Because of the joy that comes as soon as the first piece melts in the mouth? Or maybe because of how it slowly melts on the tongue, melts inside the mouth and you bite into another piece of chocolate immersed in that taste?

You guessed it right, I am a chocoholic. And on the basis of the three reasons I have mentioned above, I believe that chocolate is one of the most wonderful inventions of humanity. But she has been the subject of research for scientists at the UK’s Leeds University. Their study was published this month in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.

Lead researcher Siavash Sultan Ahmadi, from the University’s School of Food Science and Nutrition, and his team found that the feeling of chocolate in the mouth is the reason for our pleasure. The results of his research show that the whole matter is of lubrication.

Smoothening of chocolate creates that chocolaty taste that fills your mouth completely. In such a way that some special ingredients lying in chocolate dissolve in our saliva. The most relevant material is fat.

There is nothing surprising in this. Yes, those who are cautious about their health may be a little disappointed by this. But there is good news: Sultan Ahmadi and his fellow researchers claim to have found a way to make chocolate healthier. Something in such a way that no change will have to be made in its basic quality. The secret lies in the location of the fat inside the chocolate.

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That flavor comes from the rich cocoa butter

Chocolate is made of many things. Contains some solids, such as sugar and cocoa particles. and those solids that turn into liquid, such as cocoa butter, which contains fat. Cocoa butter is solid in low temperature, but as soon as it enters the mouth and touches the tongue, it turns into an oily liquid. “That’s why you get a delicate soft feel on the tongue that feels good,” Sultan Ahmadi told DW.

To find out how we get that delicious feeling in our mouths, researchers divided the process of eating chocolate into three stages: First, you bite off a piece of chocolate and lick it. Then the top layer of chocolate melts in the mouth, cocoa butter comes down on the tongue in liquid form. And lastly, the ingredients present in the chocolate dissolve in the saliva, forming an emulsion. After all, we swallow it.

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Chocolate and Prosthetic Tongue

To analyze the taste of chocolate in these three stages, the researchers designed a device which you can also call an artificial tongue. Sultan Ahmadi explains, “It’s a machine with a tongue-like surface attached to it. We took data from real human tongues and analyzed them to get an idea of ​​the tongue’s shape. We then took an average, fed it into a model Filled in and took out 3D prints of some molds.”

In this way, the researchers prepared samples that looked exactly like the tongue and did the same work. Scientists rubbed dark chocolate on an artificial tongue and then rubbed the tongue on another surface that acts as the palate to see what happens to the chocolate and how its substances dissolve.

Imagine that at this moment this chocolate is melting in your mouth. Photo: Galló Gusztav/PantherMedia/IMAGO

Humans are not fit for tasting chocolate

Why was there a need to make a fake tongue? Could people’s help be taken? It is not so difficult to find some chocolate lovers in the name of science. Sultan Ahmadi explains, “We decided not to use human panelists or testers in this experiment. And the reason was human nature. You and I can taste the same chocolate and describe it in different ways We want to get lab based test results.”

In short, humans are not well equipped to provide reliable, comparative data when it comes to testing the taste of chocolate. His nature is wavering.

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Same feel with less fat

However, tests with an artificial tongue showed that chocolate with less fat than most chocolates could produce the same taste in the mouth through lubrication.

Sultan Ahmadi says, “We are not looking for zero-calorie chocolate. I don’t think that is even possible. But our goal is to reduce the fat content ie cocoa butter. Because in our test we saw that rather than the fat content, the location of the cocoa butter is more important.”

The fat should remain mostly on the surface of the chocolate and around the solid cocoa particles. Researchers found that relatively less fat and more cocoa particles can be kept within chocolate. Sultan Ahmadi says, “By doing this, chocolate will become better for health and calories will also be reduced in it.”

but not as sweet

Low Calorie Chocolate! That’s great news! But a big shock for milk chocolate lovers like me: that chocolate will not be as sweet. The amount of cocoa particles present in it is printed on the wrapper of the chocolate as a percentage, such as 70% or 85%. As we know, the higher the percentage, the darker and more bitter the chocolate. If you are a lover of dark chocolate, then this is good for you.


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