Chocolate Smarties

On Friday 23rd November, ‘Science Brainwaves’ hosted an evening learning the science behind one of the nations favourite treats – Chocolate!

This sell-out evening allowed 130 guests to be educated by Professor John Schollar from Reading University, learning fun facts, such as that Terry’s chocolate orange wasn’t the first chocolate fruit, whilst also enjoying a sumptuous 5-tier chocolate fountain. John Schollar led us through the history of chocolate, starting from the addition of powdered milk to chocolate by Henn Nestle in 1867, which lead to the smooth chocolate we now call ‘milk chocolate’.

John showed us cocoa pods from the tree Theobrama cocoa and informed us how the pulp is fermented by micro-organisms, which alter the flavour of the cocoa.  The guests were also treated to a tasting exercise, in which the guests had to judge 4 common chocolates on their characteristics such as bitterness, creaminess, texture etc.

The guests also enjoyed a demonstration from Miss Sarah Haine from the University of Sheffield’s Dept of Materials Science and Engineering, which showed the difference in pressure that various types of chocolate could withstand. The evening was rounded of with refreshments, and a chocolate raffle with lots of lovely prizes!

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