New chocolate manufacturing technology - thoughts?
Posted in: Geek Gear - Cool Tools
Hi @luv-ice-cream, thanks for sharing your honest opinion. It was what we were looking for!
However, I believe you are arguing on the contents of the study, not the technology. Reducing fat-content is of secondary interest to most chocolate producers. But many expressed interest in the machine's ability to reduce cocoa butter usage, this is what we wanted your opinion on. Assuming it tastes the same and is cost-efficient, do you believe this technology is something you would want to use? Why? Why not?
Good morning or some other time of day!
I do apologize for a few shortcuts in my response.
While you are correct to say that I am arguing the contents (& really the motivation) of the study & not the tech, I do believe the two are inexorably linked.
The chocolate industry, I find as a somewhat an outsider, is rather set in its ways. It is fairly set in its ways and practices and is slower to change than, say, coffee industry. These are very general statements based on my admittedly limited observations & communications, but that is mho, as in "imho". The likelihood of a chocolate producer embracing new tech is related to cost benefits first and foremost.
The interest in reducing fat content aka cocoa butter content is a FINANCIAL one for the producers, not a health one. Cocoa butter is the single most expensive ingredient in the mix for the producers, unless they use stevia like we do. So, cutting down cocoa butter content reduces the cost. If the gizmometry required to accomplish this makes financial sense from the cost/benefit analysis, then it might have an inroad.
Here is my proviso, however. I come to chocolate from a science R&D background with over 30 years in the latter. I know the path of a technology/invention looking for a problem to solve. We call that pushing a rope.
Using high voltage to orient molecular dipoles is now a classic technique. It was applied in liquid crystals, then in non-linear optics (second harmonic generation in polymers/organics) to pole the molecules then, apparently to lower effective viscosity in fluid dynamics of...be it oil/gas or molten chocolate mass. And, I bet, this is not a complete list.
I am not sure how much other industries have embraced poling technology to reduce viscosity thus far. I know of surfactants, fluorinated additives & coatings making significant inroads into oil/gas. Those approaches are chemically intrusive & not applicable to foodstuff. Still, my fear is that in chocolate processing this is a solution in search of a problem.
My sincere hope is that Clay or some of the other heavy weights of the site will chime in with their thoughts because their experience is broader than mine when it comes to chocolates.