Tag Archive: chocolate science

Scientists Reveal How Chocolate Can Taste Even Better

I’ll say it time and again, a good bar of chocolate can make any day better. There are many things about chocolate that makes it irresistible. The flavor, texture, and the aroma all add up to its being head-tilting delectable.

To all the self-proclaimed and true blue chocoholics out there, here’s yet another reason to celebrate. A group of researchers from Germany and Switzerland, which we all know are the leading producers of the best chocolate, are working their tails off to better its taste.
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Chocolate As A Substitute For Baby-Making?

Mark Miodownik researched the countries that have the highest chocolate consumption. Turns out, they are all located in Northern Europe. Switzerland is the leader; then Ireland followed suit, then there’s the U.K., Austria, Belgium, and Germany.

When you have a little too much time on your hands, you can look up the fertility rates in the said countries. It goes to show that females in these chocolate-loving countries happen to have fewer than two babies (except Ireland and France). Yup, that’s below the replacement rate. If this goes on, the said countries are bound to get smaller with time.
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Eat Chocolate, Slow Down Aging Process

Going grocery shopping? Make sure you add chocolates to your shopping list. Why? I said it a million times, it acts like serotonin in your brain -- it makes you happy! On top of that, the catechins in chocolate help keep wrinkles away.

See to it that you buy dark chocolate with at least 85% cacao, though. Otherwise, the sugars undo what chocolate does. You body may be older than you would like it to be, however you can still do something to slow down the aging process. Here are some tips to heed:

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Your Gut Bacteria Makes Chocolate Healthier

Dark chocolate has been known to have a plethora of health benefits. We’ve heard it time and again that it’s good for the heart and that having chocolate regularly gives you lower body weight.

Just recently, scientists have unveiled one of the many reasons. Bacteria in the gut turn cocoa into compounds that lower inflammation and make us feel full.

Well, isn’t it a delightful time to be a dark-chocolate lover! Word has it that the magic may reside in our own bellies. Science says so. Yeah, science!

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Chocolate Cravings Explained

Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite things. It’s way beyond just a treat. It’s unimaginable, even, to know there’s chocolate in the pantry and just ignore it. Why can’t we just resist its allure? Why can’t we do without it? The psychology behind these intense chocolate cravings is becoming more and more controversial a topic for researchers.

Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, can give some explanation for the existence of such cravings. “The experience of eating chocolate releases dopamine in particular brain regions. That same dopamine is released during sex, laughter and other activities that are enjoyable. Moreover, the frontal lobe creates a memory of this experience, so whenever people think of chocolate, the brain craves for that same experience again.”, she says.

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Eat Chocolate Cake Without The Guilt

Studies have shown that people who eat sweet treats with an attitude of celebration are more likely to stay fit compared with those who are often plagued with guilt after eating.  Those who experience guilt are more likely to gain some unwanted pounds.

This study was published in the current online edition of the journal Appetite, and it shows that how we see treats, such as chocolate cake, is just as important as its caloric value when it comes down to expanding waistlines.

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Violent Video Games and Chocolate

This particular research took place in Italy, involving 170 teenagers showing their skills in a violent video game, like Grand Theft Auto III, or a non-violent game like MiniGolf 3D, in a span of 45 minutes. A bowl of chocolate was beside the gaming console while they were playing. They knew they could eat the candies, albeit they were told that it was unhealthy to devour so much chocolates in a short period of time.

Those who played violent video games ate three times as much chocolates as those who played non-violent ones. After playing, the participants went through a 10-item logic test where they got one ticket for a prize raffle for every question they answered correctly. After learning the number of answers they got right, they were told to get the corresponding number of tickets from an envelope while not being watched.

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Eat Chocolate And Lose Body Fat

Based on the studies done by the researchers from the University of Granada in Spain, European adolescents who eat chocolate on a regular basis, even those who weren’t necessarily going on a diet or exercising, tend to be slimmer.

1,458 teenagers aged between 12 and 17 in nine European countries, including Spain and the UK were the subjects of this particular research. Turns out, those who are fans of chocolate and consume a lot of it had lower body fat.

Furthermore, those teenagers who swear by chocolate had better circulation, blood pressure and heart health. The study was published in Journal Nutrition. However, it wasn’t specified what they deemed “high chocolate consumption.”

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Chocolate Scent Can Boost Bookstore Sales

Belgian researchers did a 10-day experiment at a general-interest chain bookstore which involved comparing the behavior of customers with and without the scent of chocolate. There were dispensers that released a scent of chocolate set in two different locations.

Researchers observed every fifth customer who came into the store, for a total of 201 customers. They were able to notice different “purchase-related” customer behaviors such as closely checking many different books, going over the summaries of books, hanging out in the store, speaking with and inquiring the staff.

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Dark Chocolate Lovers Tolerate Bitterness In Ice Cream

According to senior author John E. Hayes, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Director of the Sensory Evaluation Center, College of Agricultural Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, their main objective in this particular study zeroed in on identifying whether rejection thresholds for added bitterness in chocolate ice cream has a direct correlation with personal preferences for solid milk or dark chocolate.

"Estimating rejection thresholds could be an effective, rapid tool to determine acceptable formulations or quality limits when considering attributes that become objectionable at high intensities," he said.

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