(Photo: Dan the Chemist)
The only thing better than a chocolate bar is a chocolate bar that’s been chilled. Why? Dan, a doctoral student in chemistry, explains that the cocoa butter in chocolate exists in six different forms depending on the temperature. When chocolate is about 34-36⁰C, the structure of it begins to break down. This is called “fat bloom.” You can see it when chocolate appears to turn somewhat dusty and splotchy, such as the example above. Dan writes:
You then might ask how you can tell this has happened? The change in crystal structure is usually accompanied by something called ‘fat bloom,’ which is where the chocolate begins to look dusty, and pale spots appear on the surface as shown in the attached image. We’ve all been there (you’re incredibly lucky if you haven’t). It’s off putting, but still safe to eat. It happens because of partial melting in the solid which cases the fats within it to rise to the surface. It’s this strange occurrence that leads me to believe that keeping my chocolate in the fridge is in fact the correct way to keep it, and also why all the chocolate I bought on my exchange year in Australia just didn’t taste as good as the stuff at home in the UK due to their hotter climate!
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