Electrical Fields Can Make Tastier, Lower-Fat Chocolate

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Electrical Fields Can Make Tastier, Lower-Fat Chocolate

Chocolate is high in fat for a reason. Fat lowers chocolate's viscosity (how thick and sticky it is), helping it flow smoothly in its liquid form and keeping it from jamming up the machinery during production. Chocolate manufacturers have never quite found a way to make a low-fat chocolate, and it's not for lack of trying. That's why when chocolate behemoth Mars, Inc. heard that Temple University scientists had successfully lowered the viscosity of crude oil by applying an electric field in a technique called electrorheology (ER), they approached the team to see if they could do the same with chocolate. ER works by applying electricity in the same direction the fluid is flowing. In the case of chocolate, this reshaped the cocoa solids from sluggish balls to sleek chains, helping them crowd closer together for better flow. The scientists found that they could reduce the chocolate's fat content by 20% without causing manufacturing problems, and even better, they may have also improved the taste. "Some people even claim that the ER-treated chocolate has a slightly stronger cocoa flavor, better than the original chocolate," lead study author Rongjia Tao told Temple Now. We've collected some awesome videos on this topic. Watch them now to learn more.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Researchers had successfully used electric fields to reduce the viscosity of crude oil. Mars, Inc. wanted to know if they could do the same with chocolate. 0:34

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    The electric field reshaped cocoa solids suspended in the liquid, making it flow more easily. 1:02

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    Reducing viscosity means you can reduce the fat without clogging the machine -- up to 20%. Some people even think the chocolate tastes better. 1:29

The Benefits Of Chocolate, According To Science

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The Benefits Of Chocolate, According To Science

Tell someone that chocolate is good for them, and it's doubtful you'd hear many complaints. But that may very well be true. Chocolate isn't all sugar and calories; scientific research suggests that there are beneficial properties in chocolate (particularly dark chocolate). Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which terminate the chain reactions that create harmful free radicals. Flavonols are present in cocoa, which, according to recent research, may enhance brain blood flow and improve cognitive health. Many people would tell you that eating chocolate has the ability to just make them feel better, and there's science to explain that. Eating chocolate releases serotonin in your brain, which is a "feel-good" chemical and mood stabilizer.

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from DNews

Key Facts to Know

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    The amount of sugar, flavoring, and dairy of a piece of chocolate can be identified by the remainder of the percentage cacao it has. 0:33

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    To impact the flavor of chocolate in the processing, you can under- or over-roast the bean, keep it raw, ferment it differently, and more. 1:10

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    Your brain releases the feel-good chemical serotonin when you eat chocolate. 1:31

Like Chocolate? Thank Flies

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Like Chocolate? Thank Flies

Most Theobroma cacao trees, which are responsible for producing chocolate, require pollination because they do not self-pollinate. Scientists discovered that tiny—nearly invisible—flies called midges pollinate cacao flowers.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Flies kill more than one million people per year (mosquitos are flies). 0:11

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    Tiny flies are the primary pollinators for the plant we get chocolate from. 0:27

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    Flies and maggots are important in the decomposition of process, and help "clean up" in that way. 0:41

The Science of Chocolate

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The Science of Chocolate

Theobroma cacao, the name of the tree chocolate comes from, means "food of the gods."

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from SciShow

Key Facts to Know

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    Here's the difference between chocolate and cocoa: 0:24

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    Chocolate can have an aphrodisiac-like affect in some men. 2:19

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    Cats die less from chocolate because they can't taste the sweetness, so they're less enticed by it. 3:14

Facts About Chocolate

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Facts About Chocolate

More than a sweet treat, chocolate is a powerful food with rich history. Did you know chocolate contains phenylethylamine, an amino acid believed to be an aphrodisiac and hangover reliever?