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Science discovers a new trick to more easily temper chocolate

Science discovers a new trick to more easily temper chocolate

The experts of chocolate they know that getting the robust yet creamy texture of their products is anything but easy. Now, science may have discovered a trick so that tempering chocolate is no longer a source of stress for master chocolatiers. Specifically, those responsible for the great achievement were food scientists Jay Chen, Saeed M. Ghazani, Jarvis A. Stobbs and Alejandro G. Marangoni. Together, researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada studied the transformation of cocoa butter into chocolate.

Therefore, they were able to determine which ingredients and quantities could make a difference in the quenching process. The fruits of their effort have been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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The science behind chocolate

To make a perfect chocolate dough you need to temper it to perfection. But that’s much easier said than done. Every chef who produces artisanal chocolate knows that, for a good tempering, it is necessary to develop a perfect balance between the quality and quantity of the ingredients, the temperature of the dough and the preparation times. In general, milk chocolates usually have cocoa butter (for shape), cocoa mass or chocolate liqueur (for flavor) and additives (such as blue or vanilla) as main ingredients. Combinations, attachments and variations may change.

Now, while the first two elements are very important, additives tend to have much smaller proportions. As a result, they have not been studied so thoroughly by science, which still leaves unknowns to reveal about their role in the hardening process.

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The most recent study sought to know these compositions in more detail. All this to understand how they can influence the correct distribution of the chocolate “crystals”.

In search of the perfect balance

The researchers analyzed how the different additives of two common and natural fats might influence the formation of crystals within the chocolate mixture. After that, they experimented with raising and lowering the values ​​of each element, to test its limits and in what quantities one of them could be of greater help in tempering the chocolate.

Specifically, the researchers’ study focused onidentification of the proportions of free fatty acids and phospholipids which interfered with the chocolate tempering process. At the end of their investigations, they noted that while the former had a slight effect, it was the latter that could make a difference for chocolate professionals.

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The natural molecules, saturated phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine, have been shown to play a crucial role in the structuring of V-shaped crystals. In this way, when they were present in sufficient quantity, the tempering results were generally of superior quality.

The great trick developed by science to more easily temper chocolate may not be the best tool for an amateur chef trying a recipe for the first time. However, it can be of great help for professionals who may begin to pay attention to the presence of this pair of biological molecules, so as to ensure the success of their tempering processes.