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Interesting stuff on Scharffenberger.com
November 15, 2004
1:14 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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Scharffenberger has links to some interesting articles, e.g. regarding organic and fair trade chocolate.

http://www.scharffenberger.com…..health.php

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
November 18, 2004
6:29 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah, too bad that hardly ever update their site too. Not as bad as Valrhona, though. I wonder if they forgot about their site.

November 18, 2004
9:52 am
alex_h
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i just came across scharffen berger’s site for the first time in a while. need to read up a bit, some of the info is new to me.
at least they’re informative. domori could update their site a bit more often too. and amedei as well.

November 18, 2004
3:11 pm
legodude
Norway
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May 21, 2004
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I read something interesting on Schrffen Berger’s site about the new 82% chocolate.

“This chocolate is delicious now and will improve with age.”

Most chocolates expire after a year or so. What does they meen by saying this? Is the chocolate edible longer than other chocolates? Hasn`t the flavors “settled” yet? Should I keep it with my wine bottles and give it to my grand children?

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 18, 2004
3:19 pm
alex_h
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[:)]
funny, i was thinking the same thing when i saw that. but mainly because it is familiar from leysieffer’s packages, that all state the same thing.
wonder what the story is behind that. i bet u sebastian knows more about this kind of stuff.

November 18, 2004
4:44 pm
Sebastian
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Dark chocolate can improve with age, this is true. Without boring you with the details, the cocoa butter changes over time. While it may appear solid at room temperature, a good 20% of it is still liquid and fluid. Plus, cocoa butter, once it does harden, can do so in a variety of ways. Most of these turn out and show themselves as bloom – however, those that don’t will spontaneously convert to other, harder, stabler forms over time, which does impact flavor release. Generally over time, darks will mello out, become milder, and their aromatic peaks and valleys will flatten out. There is a time limit on how long this is the case, so I wouldn’t start storing them with your french wines in hopes of having a taste ephiphany 20 years from now, but I’d say that a good years’ age on dark chocolate is a very good thing.

Obviously this isn’t the same for milk chocolates, where you’ve got milk products to consider…

November 18, 2004
5:01 pm
alex_h
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damn this forum is cool! [8D]

November 18, 2004
5:14 pm
legodude
Norway
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May 21, 2004
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Yepp!

“I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?”

"I`ve got lots of friends in San José. Do you know the way to San José?"
November 18, 2004
5:47 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Yeah but, even after a while, fats and proteins do go rancid, and I would imagine that cocoa butter is no exception to this decomposition. Cacao beans are technically the seeds of a fruit, and being as such, they can go rancid just by being stored for a long time. Because they’re more stable than other fats, such as butter, they can be stored for a longer period of time. Of course, cooler storage temperatures will impede the hydrolysis of the natural fats, but after about two or three years, I would be a bit concerned that the flavor had suffered too much. I think that brands need to clarify that although chocolate can improve with a slight aging, it will not, however, retain good flavor after long periods. Alcohol is different because the sugars get converted into alcohol which continuously feeds on the starches and are thus much more stable. They don’t oxidize the way fats and proteins do, and these reactions in our bodies are common as age. This is why antioxidants, such as chocolate, are important to our bodies: as we age, important fat and protein molecules oxidize and become unstable, thus slowing down the body, but antioxidants provide the stability in order to maintain proper functioning.

November 18, 2004
7:01 pm
alex_h
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damn this forum is cool! [8D][8D]

November 19, 2004
12:41 am
Sebastian
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One of the many very cool things about chocolate is that it contains, or can, depending on how it’s handled, a very high level of natural antioxidants, that do a fantastic job of playing the part of self protectant. While theoretically possible, I’ve never, ever seen an example of a rancid cocoa butter (most of the TAG’s in CCB are fairly long chain, about 60% saturated, and quite stable), and we’ve put them through fantastically horrid heat treatments to deodorize them (which does, by the way, have a side effect of zorching any of the natural antioxidants).

In a former life I did a bit of research on antioxidants and the role they play in the aging process in the human body – sounds like you’ve got an interest there yourself Montegrano. One of the cool things about the human body is that it’s designed to age.. each time your cells divide, telomeres loose jsut a bit of their DNA. Antioxidants can help lengthen that process, making your cellular DNA last just a wee bit longer. It’s ultimately a loosing battle, however – ironic that we require oxygen to live, but with every breath we take, we generate oxaditive radicals that ultimately do us in 8-) There’s also some pretty cool stuff that interacts with apoptotic pathways, the hari-cari of cellular death.

November 19, 2004
3:20 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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In a more general chemistry sense, oxidation simply refers to an atom’s or molecule’s loss of electrons; and fats, proteins, and DNA all undergo this process. When this happens, the good molecule turns bad, into the villianous free radical which snatches electrons from other stable molecules. Hence aging, cancer, heart disease, etc. However, if one wants to be real specific, a fat’s decomposition can be classified as either hydrolysis or oxidation. As you mentioned, chocolate contains long fatty acid chains and is thus more stable for a longer period of time. Butter, as I mentioned, is more vulnerable to hydrolysis because of its shorter chains, which allow the smaller molecules to fly off into the air easier. Even when stored in the refrigerator, this reaction occurs, but eventually the butter will become volatile. The same happens to nuts, and heat and light can also cause the rancidity (aka oxidation). This is why we need to store fatty foods in a “cool dry place.” Basically, rancidity in a nutshell (pardon the pun), is the disconnection of fatty acid chains. Length, type, and external factors, such as heat, light, etc. all play a part in how long a fatty food will last.

November 19, 2004
10:01 am
alex_h
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sounds very interesting, you two. fascinating just “listening”.

November 19, 2004
10:24 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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I never thought that my old knowledge in chemistry (half a term at the university…) would be so relevant for the eating of the Gods. [:)]
I celebrate the healt of choc with some pieces from my in-office stored supplies. I decided that it was better to have a bit choc at the office and eat it, than to dream about it all the time…[;)]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
November 19, 2004
10:26 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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And, btw, I also think that the Sharffenberger gives me a good reason to eat dark chocs from smaller manufacturers: Much better for the environment and for the growers. Social concience and pure hedonism in one bar of choc![:D][8D]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
November 19, 2004
12:53 pm
Sebastian
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True, all true. Natural cocoa does have lipases (enzymes that act like knives that only cut fat) present, but the processing steps involved have heat treatment steps high enough to inactivate those enzymes. Fat is made of a backbone chemical called glycerine (glycerol), to which is attached 3 fatty acids. When they’re all hooked together, it’s called a triglyceride. If those enzymes are present, they enzymatically drive a chemical reaction called hydrolysis (acids, and in some cases for some fats, the presence of water can drive this as well). This means that 1 or more of those 3 fatty acids that are attached to the glycerol backbone get ‘cut’ off, and that’s one of the large factors that drives rancidity. All EU and US regs have maximum levels of FFA (Free fatty acids) that can be present in cocoa butter, with the maximum level that I’ve seen from any country at 1.75%. However, I’ve never, ever seen a rancid cocoa butter, even after severe deodorization steps. I’ve never kept a finished dark chocolate around for more than a few years to test specifically for changes over time (with the exception of frozen material, but that doesn’t really count). I mistakenly have kept a milk chocolate for over 5 years, and that wasn’t a pretty site.