Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain

A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight ...

Scientists unveil chocolate-fueled race car

(AP) -- Scientists unveiled on Tuesday what they hope will be one of the world's fastest biofuel vehicles, powered by waste from chocolate factories and made partly from plant fibers.

Researchers print rainbow colorants on shimmering chocolate

ETH researchers are making chocolates shimmer in rainbow colors without the addition of colorants. They have found a way to imprint a special structure on the surface of the chocolate to create a targeted color effect.

Sensing food textures is a matter of pressure

Food's texture affects whether it is eaten, liked or rejected, according to Penn State researchers, who say some people are better at detecting even minor differences in consistency because their tongues can perceive particle ...

Saliva could influence taste preferences

Saliva is crucial for tasting and digesting food, but scientists have now found that it may have another, more subtle role. Salivary proteins could be part of a feedback loop that influences how food tastes to people—and ...

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Chocolate

Chocolate (pronounced /ˈtʃɒklət/ (help·info) or /-ˈələt/) comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican peoples made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs and the Maya, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground and liquified, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. "White chocolate" contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids (and thus does not qualify to be considered true chocolate).

Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Scientists claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate has recently been promoted for its health benefits, including a substantial amount of antioxidants that reduce the formation of free radicals, though the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and hearts on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA