Chocolate Coats Tongue to Give Melt-in-the-Mouth Feeling, Study Finds | Science

According to scientists, the irresistible melt-in-the-mouth sensation of chocolate comes down to the way it lubricates the tongue.

One study investigated the physical process by which a solid square of chocolate turns into a smooth emulsion. She found that the chocolate released an oily film that coated the tongue, providing a sweet feeling the entire time it was in the mouth.

Dr Siavash Soltanahmadi, lead researcher of the study at the University of Leeds, said the findings could be used to design low-fat chocolate that mimics the feel of a high-fat product.

“We believe a next generation of chocolate can be developed that offers the feel and feel of high-fat chocolate while being a healthier choice,” she said.

Soltanahmadi and his colleagues set out to study texture sensation using a luxury brand of dark chocolate and an artificial tongue. The device has a 3D-printed tongue-like texture, is maintained at 37°C (98.6°F), and is powered to move like a human tongue.

They found that shortly after the chocolate is placed in the mouth, the tongue becomes covered with a layer of fat, which depends on the fat content of the chocolate. After that, solid cocoa particles are released and they become prominent in terms of tactile sensation, the researchers found.

“We show that the layer of fat has to be on the outer layer of the chocolate, that’s what matters the most, followed by an effective coating of the cocoa particles by the fat, these help make the chocolate so good “, she said.

This implies that the fat deeper inside the chocolate plays a limited role in contributing to the sensation and could be reduced without impacting the chocolate mouthfeel. The researchers suggested that chocolate bars with a fat content gradient or a low-fat, high-fat chocolate-covered bar might work well as a healthier alternative.

Soltanahmadi said creating healthier chocolate was a challenge for the food industry because low-fat versions weren’t always as appetizing.

“Our research opens up the possibility that manufacturers can intelligently design dark chocolate to reduce overall fat content,” she said. “We believe that dark chocolate can be produced in a gradient layered architecture with fat covering the surface of the chocolates and particles to deliver the desired pleasure experience without adding too much fat inside the body of the chocolate. “

The researchers suggested that similar techniques could be applied to help design healthier versions of other foods that transform from a solid to a liquid in the mouth, such as ice cream or cheese. The results are published in the journal Applied materials and ACS interfaces.

Leave a Comment