I did a few searches in the forums and wasn't able to find anything directly on point (though this thread came close: http://tinyurl.com/2tzvlj ). What I'm wondering is the extent to which aroma and/or flavor intensity in chocolate can dissipate.
The conventional wisdom seems to be that, if a chocolate is stored improperly, a meaningful amount of aroma (and therefore flavor intensity) can be lost. Is anyone aware of any studies on this? Or has anyone conducted some informal experiments--e.g., taking two bars from the same batch, leaving one wrapped in foil, leaving the other exposed to the air, and tasting them side by side over a period of time to note differences? If there is discernible loss of aroma over time, what storage material best retards the process (e.g., plastic, wax paper, foil)? How long does it take before the effects become noticeable in a side-by-side tasting--days, weeks, months?
I assume that, if there's meaningful loss of aroma in chocolate, it's a function of evaporation of aromatic components of the chocolate. If so, does anyone (Alex?) know precisely what those components are? (And, if that's the way it works, loss of flavor is probably more noticeable in pieces with higher ratio of surface area to mass, right? Better to store blocks of chocolate than bars or small pieces.)
Any information would be appreciated.
June 5, 2005
Hum ChemicalMachine might have something. Since chocolate doesn absorb flavors fairly easily from the air, the lose of aroma might be because it is covered up....
Either way I think there is a loss of aroma when left in open air. I have noticed it in bars that I have left out. I would love to see some research on that as well. I will have to start searching...
Great question and discussion...
December 12, 2005
I once did a very scientific experiment: I simply left a bar of Slitti Amazzonia on the shelf (dark place, constant 16-18C) for one and a half year. As this is one of my all time favourites, I had a constant control group (I regularly eat it). So the comparison pointed out that the bar left in its wrapper lost approximately half of its potential and complexity. After this (be it biased as is though) I never take seriously any vintage comparisons over half a year. Considering that most fruity aromas are to my knowledge somewhat volatile esthers, it is quite plausible that even from an unopened bar aromas fly away over time. The kinetics of this process is really unclear to me yet, but I am looking for some companies that could give me a research contract to elucidate the enigma...:)
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