Particle Size Distribution Of Chocolate

There is much more to creating the perfect bar of chocolate than simply mixing up some cocoa powder, sugar and milk and letting it set. Throughout the process there are many factors that influence the taste, so producing a great-tasting piece of chocolate is a very complex scientific process.

One of the most important issues is particle size distribution. The size, shape and distribution of the particles within a piece of chocolate will have a huge impact on its texture and taste, so getting these elements right is vital.

Using the Fritsch Analysette 22, scientists have been able to assess particle size distribution of high quality chocolate from the same producer. This gives an insight into the ingredients and the entire manufacturing process affects the resulting product.

In order to measure the particles, chocolate samples were pre-dispersed in organic liquids before being placed in the particle size analyser. It is important to get this right and use a suitable solvent, otherwise the high fat content of the chocolate  will contaminate the results.

Chocolate with a large fraction of cacao has a much finer particle size distribution, which is what gives it a very smooth and sometimes sticky sensation. In short, the way particles are spread within the piece is what gives this chocolate a very intense taste.

In milk chocolate, the higher sugar content gives a particle size distribution featuring more larger particles, resulting in a different texture and taste.

The larger sugar crystals are of less importance in determining texture and taste, as they quickly dissolve in the mouth, so high levels are not an issue.

By assessing the texture and taste of chocolate scientifically by discovering particle size distribution, scientists and producers can work together to create great-tasting chocolate.

Of course, once they have discovered the perfect bar, reproducing it is the next step. In repeated samples from the same batch different measurements are found, but by determining an average and taking care to ensure the whole production process is consistent, the same great-tasting chocolate can be made again and again.

Date added: 2015-05-25 11:35:50