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That's why we can't resist chocolates
Written by SOT.COM.AL 22 Mars 2023
Can a chocolate be just as delicious, but much healthier? That's the hope of researchers from the interdisciplinary team at the University of Leeds, who claim to have deciphered the natural process that takes place in the mouth when we eat a delicious piece of chocolate.
According to researchers, its melt-in-your-mouth quality is what makes eating chocolate so irresistible. The study was published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.
According to researchers, this delightful process that occurs in our mouths when we eat chocolate is due to the fat on its surface, which remains both on the tongue and on other surfaces of the oral cavity, giving this delicacy its creamy texture.
The research team built a 3D tongue-like surface. Using refined dark chocolate, he employed a variety of analytical techniques from the field of tribology. It is a science that studies the way surfaces interact with fluids, the levels of friction between them and the role of lubricating agents which in the case of the study are saliva and chocolate fluids. All these mechanisms are activated in the oral cavity when we eat chocolate.
The researchers found that the delicious sensation of chocolate is due to the fat on its surface, while the fat inside the chocolate plays a much smaller role in the final sensation.
“ Chocolate, whether it's 5% or 50% fat, will form droplets in the mouth, which provide that satisfying sensation. However, the factor that plays a role is the location of the fat in the chocolate. Our research has shown that being in the outer layers of chocolate is essential, as this seems to give chocolate its irresistible taste," explains Anwesha Sarkar, professor at the School of Food and Nutrition Sciences at Leeds.
Based on these findings, the researchers came to the conclusion that a new generation of chocolate can be created, from which the unnecessary fat contained in its body will be absent, resulting in it being healthier, but without a lack of taste. .
"Research provides answers to the sensation that food gives in the mouth. Therefore, we can use these elements with the aim of creating foods, which will be tasty, but at the same time healthier ", says Dr. Sarkar.
Dr. Siavash Soltanahmadi from Leeds School of Food and Nutrition Sciences and lead researcher said: "By understanding the natural mechanisms that occur when we eat chocolate, we hope to create a new generation of chocolate that offers the same sensation while being healthier."
Finally, the researchers believe that the techniques used in this study can be applied to research on other foods with similar melt-in-your-mouth properties, such as ice cream, butter and cheese, with the aim of developing healthier forms of them.