Chunky Chocolate

This study is a chocolate mess! In a GOOD way…

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Chocolate – the miracle food! Like magic, chunks of fat, sugar, and cocoa solids become the treat we all love! But how does this combo produce LIQUID chocolate? Is PHYSICS involved?

Enter Wilson Poon of the University of Edinburgh and his international team. He took on the DAUNTING task of mixing chocolate with science.

After numerous taste tests, Poon found the secret – fat! Adding sufficient fatty substances, like oil, decreases the friction between particles, causing it to liquefy and mix more smoothly. Not enough fat? You get a dry, chalky paste. Not exactly what you’d give to impress your valentine!

Lower friction also means chocolatiers can use less power to mix chocolate chunks. This discovery doesn’t just apply to chocolate making. Cement, ceramics, and even some drugs are made by mixing a liquid into some dry powder to form a solution that flows.

Understanding the physics of chocolate could improve mixology methods, saving time and money!

See, physics can be fun, chocolatey — and delicious!