Will we be eating bugs in the future? Alex Wilkins, a New Scientist reporter, recently visited Ynsect’s massive vertical insect farm located in France. He was interested to learn what the future food could look and taste like.
Fat on the outside of chocolate may be key for its mouthfeel, suggesting that fat content could be reduced in the center without compromising the sensation
Chocolates with a high-fat exterior but low-fat center could provide the same pleasing taste and melting consistency but with fewer calories, say researchers.
To explore the factors that determine the mouthfeel of chocolate, Anwesha Sarkar at the University of Leeds, UK, and her colleagues used an artificial tongue 3D-printed in silicone to mimic the texture and elasticity of the human language.
The melting of fats in the mouth produces droplets that are thought to create the pleasing sensation and texture of chocolate. The team found that the fats on the surface of the chocolate are the most vital of all. After that, solid cocoa particles in the chocolate become important to the experience.
“What we realised is that fat is definitely a very important material [to the enjoyable taste of chocolate], but you don’t need to distribute the fat [throughout the chocolate],” says Sarkar. “The main point where the fat content matters is the surface layer. Once you start eating the chocolate, breaking it down into pieces, then you’re not getting so much benefit of the fat content.”
Sarkar says this should make it possible to create chocolates with fat only on the surface, which would still result in a pleasurable melting sensation but with fewer calories inside.