It has been studied by researchers at the School of Food Sciences and Nutrition in Leeds (United Kingdom), who They have analyzed in depth that physical process that takes place in the mouth when eating a piece of chocolate and the pleasure that its touch and texture produce.
The study, whose The conclusions are published today in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interface, According to those responsible, it can contribute to developing a new generation of chocolates that have the same sensation and texture but are healthier for consumption.
Fat plays a key role at the moment a piece of chocolate comes into contact with the tongue, and after that moment the solid cocoa particles are released and become important in terms of tactile sensation, soe the fat deeper within the chocolate plays a rather limited role and could be reduced without having an impact on the sensation of pleasure produced by consumption.
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The tests were carried out using a luxury brand of dark chocolate on a surface similar to an artificial tongue. which was designed at the University of Leeds, and the researchers used analytical techniques from a field of engineering called ‘tribology’, which studies the friction, wear and lubrication that occur during contact between moving solid surfaces.
In this case, verified that interaction between the ingredients of the chocolate itself and saliva, and how when it comes into contact with the tongue, it releases a film of fat that covers the tongue and other surfaces of the mouth and that it is this film that makes this product stick. feel smooth the entire time it is in the mouth.
The researchers believe that the physical techniques used in the study could be applied to the investigation of other foods that undergo a phase change, where a substance changes from a solid to a liquid, such as ice cream, margarine, or cheese.
This project in which this work was framed received funding from the European Research Council within the framework of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program of the European Union.