Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=212690
Story Retrieval Date: 12/11/2013 3:21:24 AM CST
Move over Willy Wonka. A recent candy confection is taking indulgent innovation to new heights – and temperatures.
Cadbury UK announced last week that a riff on their classic Dairy Milk chocolate bar is resistant to melting.
The company plans to sell the product only in warmer countries, such as India and Brazil, where shelf life is affected by climate.
"We understand this is part of Cadbury/Kraft's strategy to sell commercial chocolate in tropical markets,” said Valerie Beck, Chicago Chocolate Tours founder and CEO.
Cadbury is owned by Kraft Foods Group, based in suburban Northfield.
Food scientists at Cadbury tested both the new chocolate and the current Dairy Milk product. Both bars were placed in an incubator heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit for three hours.
According to the latest Dairy Milk bar’s patent application, the new chocolate remained solid after three hours, whereas its counterpart was reduced to a melted mess.
“If pressed with a finger, it does not stick nor have the consistency of a molten product,” the application said. But with some pressure, “it could be broken.”
Still, the science behind the bar has consumers curious about the chocolate’s cooking ability.
“I’d try the chocolate because Cadbury is a pretty reliable and trusted brand,” said Melanie Borda, a culinary student at Kendall College in Chicago. “I’d be more interested in using the product when I bake at home. With such a high melting point, it’d hopefully be more stable for molding chocolate or as a coating.”
Others question whether a non-melting chocolate would have the same flavor as its melting kin.
“I would be worried about the taste because fats are extracted from the bar,” said Rachel Tan, a food writer in Chicago and Singapore. “Fats are what makes chocolate, chocolate.”
Another arena of Cadbury contention is the velvety smooth, creamy texture chocolate is known for.
“Normally chocolate melts at around body temperature,” said Beck. “So this new formulation must have a different mouth-feel, since apparently it won't automatically start melting in your mouth.”
The “temperature tolerant chocolate” came about when researchers changed a step in the “conching” method of chocolate creation. This step occurs when ingredients such as milk, sugar, oil and cocoa butter are ground in a metal ball-filled container.
During this process, food researchers found a way to shrink the candy’s sugar particles, resulting in a reduced amount of meltable fat in the bar. Chocolate’s fat content contributes to its melting temperature, which typically occurs at 93 degrees Fahrenheit.
The updated Dairy Milk bar patent is pending through The Patent Cooperation Treaty. Until authorities decide whether or not to grant the patent, chocoholics must settle for sinking their teeth into melting bars.