We all know the delicious smell of chocolate: the rich velvety aroma of roasted cocoa beans that makes our mouth water. While most of us don’t spend as much time sniffing the stuff as we do gobbling it all up, there are chemicals in chocolates that are similar to the ones found in roses.
Much like flowers and essential oils we have in our homes, roasted cocoa beans are rich in beta-ionone which give them their respective smells. German scientists found that the fragrance (as well as the taste obviously) is what makes dark chocolate so appealing to us all. Their research not only explains why the smell of chocolate is so alluring but suggests it could also lead to even tastier snacks being custom made in future. So, now you know, a bouquet of chocolate is a much better choice than roses – not only can you sniff it, you can eat it.
Bet she can’t wait to dig in The findings, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, may help choccie companies control and improve the flavour of their products. The German team tested two types of local dark chocolate with distinctive aromas.
They then analysed the chemicals within the smell and found that various volatile compounds are directly responsible for the smell. These are chemicals that transform into gases easily at room temperature and are inhaled along with the air we breathe. Dr Carolin Seyfried, of the Technical University of Munich, said: ‘Chocolate is one of the most-consumed treats around the world. ‘Flavour is more than just what the tongue tastes – smell also plays a key role, with many compounds working together to create a unique sensory experience.’
That explains why we crave the stuff just by catching a whiff of the fragrance. MORE: CHOCOLATE Chocolate used to be gritty until a special process turned it smooth You can grab a Creme Egg for 16p in the post-Easter clearout The best deals you can get during the Easter Monday sales If you ever wondered what substances make up roasted cocoa beans – the main ingredient for chocolate, researchers found the answer.
In a previous study, the same scientists from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy found that the aroma of roasted beans comes from a host of substances. Individually these smell like potato chips, human sweat, earth, cooked meat, peaches, raw beef fat, cooked cabbage, cucumber and honey. Delicious.