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Index – Science – Who wants artificial chocolate?

Corentin Coulais, a physicist at the University of Amsterdam and lead of the research, usually works with non-food “superfactors”, that is, substances whose structure and properties do not exist in nature. He previously studied deforming materials used in robotics, prosthetics, and electronics. He writes that the partnership with Unilever directed it towards chocolate Smithsonian.

Chocolate experience

Chocolate research is part of the study of edible superfoods. This science looks for ways to produce foods that are nutritious, easy to consume or environmentally friendly. Coulais’ research team first tempered dark chocolate, which contains 72 percent cocoa, heated and cooled to give it a stable structure. A series of chocolate spirals were then printed using a 3D printer. Some of the snails were simple S-shaped shapes, but there were also more complex, maze-like shapes.

The team then subjected the chocolate to a series of mechanical tests to see how it might break if you bit it. When squeezing chocolate from the top, it breaks into many pieces (especially fine spirals), and biting off the side usually cracks only once.

The next step in the research was to give the chocolate to a very lucky test team with the question of what shape was preferred and why.

The more complex the shape, the larger the crack and the more enjoyment it will be

Collis says. But that wasn’t surprising because it was earlier Research They already knew that people liked food to crackle or smash in their mouths. They also really enjoy the sound of the crunching, which taste researcher Alan Hirsch has described as “mastication music.” Some scientists believe that we associate freshness with freshness – this also indicates to our ancestors which food was better.

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Break where you want

Fabio Fallopi, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, studies edible superfoods, such as moving dough, which is dough that changes from flat to three-dimensional during cooking. This type of food can reduce our environmental footprint by reducing emissions and transportation costs.

According to Coulais, these methods can be used to prepare meals especially for those who have problems biting or chewing due to illness. By controlling the amount of force needed to chew a piece of food, they can form tasty, easy-to-bite solids.

According to Fallopi:

We have a finite amount of matter on Earth with finite properties. The beauty of metamaterials (both in their edible and inedible form) is that if we just add some shapes and structures to materials with limited properties, we actually give them new functions and properties.

Do you have a hologram?

The music of the future is the development of edible holograms. They have shiny 3D patterns on their surface that change the color of food and may also have edible food labels on them. So you don’t even need a label (the production is actually greener), the food itself is too.

The research on fracture engineering can be applied elsewhere: if they find out where the material breaks better, if controlled fracture materials are developed, then better helmets or other protective gear can be designed. Safer planes can come, and only cars that are damaged outside.

(Cover Photo: Natasha Brin (REDACO / Universal Images Group / Getty Images)