As a daily chocolate consumer, I confess that the idea of reducing the sugar in chocolate and taking away bitterness at the same time was music to my taste buds.
Confection makers who want to develop products containing 100% chocolate and no sugar for health-conscious consumers can reduce bitterness and optimize flavor acceptance by roasting cocoa beans longer and at higher temperatures.
That’s the conclusion of a team of researchers who conducted a new study in Penn State’s Sensory Evaluation Center in the Department of Food Science. The study involved 27 100%-chocolate preparations made from cocoa beans roasted at various intensities and 145 people who came to the center on five consecutive days, evaluating five different samples each day.
The research confirmed that bitterness and astringency are negatively correlated to consumer liking, and demonstrated that those qualities in chocolate can be reduced through optimizing roasting, according to research team member Helene Hopfer, Rasmussen Career Development Professor in Food Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences.