It’s chocolate. Sweet – this is a fact Supported by research. The question is, really why A bite of goodness is enough to send a man into a state of absolute bliss.

After conducting a study involving four types of dark chocolate and a 3D-printed tongue, a team of UK researchers found that it all comes down to the chocolate’s slick outer layer – aka its fat.

“Our main finding here is that fat is very important,” Anwesha Sarkar, professor of colloids and surfaces at the University of Leeds, told The Washington Post.

The research paper was published earlier this month in the American Chemical Society Applied materials and interfaces Journal, a team of scientists details the chocolate’s journey from aluminum wrapping to how it was analyzed. Linguistic papillae – Replicating each step with a human-like body part you used instead of an actual human tester to eliminate as many variables as possible.

The magic of eating chocolate works for your brain

The process of eating chocolate begins with what Sarkar calls the “licking phase,” or when the chocolate comes into contact with the tongue. It’s a smooth “chocolate feeling” when moving, Sarkar said. Then when it starts to melt and saliva enters the mixture, the hard cocoa particles in the chocolate are released. Increase the speed of endorphins.

After conducting the experiment, the scientists concluded that the much-loved silky feel of chocolate is a result of the cocoa fat droplets. But does that mean chocolate has to be high fat to enjoy?

Not exactly, said Sarkar. If chocolate is covered in fat, it doesn’t matter if the chocolate itself is high in fat.

“During the tongue, lubrication is very important to the sensation it creates,” she says. But when you get down to the inside of the chocolate and it all starts to mix with saliva, the amount of fat doesn’t matter. So first you need enough fat to coat the cocoa nibs, but not much fat after that.

In other words, the researchers discovered that the amount of fat is not as important as the location — a discovery that could pave the way for a new generation of chocolate that’s not only tastier, but healthier and more sustainable, Sarkar said. .

“The biggest obstacle to designing food is the taste and texture,” she said. “If we understand the mechanics of why something tastes good, it’s easier to create healthier, more sustainable versions. We can also better design food for vulnerable populations, those with swallowing difficulties or those who need energy-dense products.

“Imagine if we made broccoli as good as chocolate,” says Sarkar, a self-proclaimed chocolate lover. Or at least make something like zero-calorie chocolate have the same creaminess and silkiness of regularity.

Is chocolate healthy? Alas, the answer is not sweet. This is the reason.

Sarkar said her team’s findings are likely. apply For other favorite foods, like cheese. The goal, she says, is to better understand how food texture plays a role in people’s taste experience.

“Our appetites and aversions come from the composition, not the taste,” she said. “So, for example, things that a lot of people like contain sugar; but, you know, an orange is not the same as a piece of chocolate. So it’s not the sweetness, it’s the texture.”

Other studies on food suggest that texture and sweetness are closely related. As one says Published in 2015, people’s texture preferences are divided into four groups: chewing, chewing food; Crunchers, like to crunch; Sugars that prefer soluble materials; And smokers, who want nothing but food to spread around in their mouths.

“Text can be a major reason for not accepting food,” said Melissa Geltema, a strategic business development and product research technology firm at U&I Collaborative, who co-authored the study with Jacqueline Beckley and Jennifer Vahalik. “Individuals have preferred ways of consuming food, so foods that are easily compatible with those preferred ways of eating will be preferred – and the taste will be preferred.”

Gelatma chocolate is an example of a food item that can bend texture preferences – it can be enjoyed by anyone who likes the taste. There are chewy, brown and chocolate-covered raisins; For crunchers, chocolate with nuts; For keepers, hard chocolate candies; And something like Nutella spread or chocolate ice cream for smoothies.

That’s it. The magic of chocolate – according to science.

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