Thursday, 16 July 2009

Chocolate News

My inner nerd has been taking over far too much of late, diverting me from the true subject of this blog, which is of course the carb-based snack. So...

Important news from the world of chocolate (which is one of the major food groups):

About half of American women crave chocolate, and approximately half of the cravers crave it specifically around the onset of menstruation. This study examines whether the primary cause of this "perimenstrual" craving is a direct effect of hormonal changes around the perimenstrum, or rather if the craving is a general response in some individuals to stress or other notable events. Insofar as there is a direct hormonal effect, one would predict a substantial decrease of 38% in total chocolate craving in women post-menopause, corresponding to the proportion of women pre-menopause who report craving chocolate exclusively perimenstrually. Based on a survey of pre- and postmenopausal alumnae of the same University, we report a significant but small decrease in prevalence of chocolate cravings post-menopause. The decrease is only 13.4% and thereby much smaller than a 38% drop predicted by a purely hormonal explanation, suggesting that female reproductive hormones are not the principal cause of perimenstrual chocolate craving.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

More news. The Swiss have invented a low calorie chocolate that doesn't melt in hot weather - 90% lower cal than the average chocolate 'product', they claim. However, part of the reason it's less fattening may be because it's full of air bubbles so most of it isn't chocolate.

According to a spokesperson: "It's called Vulcano because it can be eaten when it's hot, and it's airy and full of bubbles, like volcanic rock." Or like Aero?

The main reason for making a chocolate that melts at higher temperatures is so that it can be sold in hot countries - it's heat-resistant up to 55C (131F) whereas most chocolate starts to melt at 30C. We are reassured that: "It does melt in the mouth, but it is the enzymes in saliva rather than the heat of the tongue that causes it to dissolve." Hhm. I'm liking the sound of it less. And the grammar of the press release not at all.  Not while there is Green & Black's in the world and this shop.

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