Researchers at the University of Leeds in the UK have identified why eating chocolate feels so good.
Scientists analyzed the process that occurs when we eat chocolate, focusing more on texture than taste.
They claim that where the fat is inside the chocolate helps make it smooth and pleasant to taste.
Study leader Siavash Sultan Ahmadi hopes the findings will lead to the development of a “new generation” of healthy chocolate.
When chocolate is placed in the mouth, its surface releases a fatty layer that gives a distinct sensation.
But the researchers say that the deeper fats within the chocolate play a limited role, so the amount can be reduced without affecting the sensation the chocolate provides.
Professor Anwesha Sarkar, of the Leeds School of Food Science and Nutrition, said: “It is the location of the fat in the chocolate composition that is important at every stage of the lubrication, and this is rarely researched.”
“Our research opens up the possibility that manufacturers can intelligently design dark chocolate to reduce total fat,” said Sultan Ahmadi.
The team used a three-dimensional tongue-like prosthetic surface designed at the University of Leeds to conduct the study, and the researchers hope the same equipment can be used to investigate other texture-altering foods such as ice cream, margarine and cheese.
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