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.