FDBusiness.com

Belgian Researchers Check Quality of Chocolate With Ultrasound

 Breaking News
  • Müller Completes Largest Single Investment in Scottish Dairy Processing in a Decade Müller Milk & Ingredients has completed a £15 million project to substantially upgrade Scotland’s largest fresh milk dairy in Bellshill and secure 265 jobs. The project represents the largest single investment in Scottish dairy processing for more than a decade. It gives Müller’s Bellshill dairy the capacity to process more than 370 million litres of fresh [...]...
  • Changing Consumer Habits to Shape EU Agricultural Markets by 2030 The European Commission has published projections for the European agricultural markets to 2030 for a wide range of agri-food products, including meat, arable crops, milk and dairy products, and fruit and vegetables. The evolution of agricultural income and the environmental aspects of EU agriculture are also covered, as well as a special focus on the [...]...
  • Irish Grass-fed Beef – Opportunities For Healthier Diets Ireland’s climate means that the country is good at growing grass. It is well known that producing beef from grass results in lower costs than feeding animals on concentrates. But what about the consumer? Is grass-fed beef better than other types of beef for consumers? This was the focus of a Department of Agriculture, Food and [...]...
  • Change of Leadership at Edrington Edrington, the international premium spirits company, has announced that chief executive officer Ian Curle will retire in March 2019 after 15 years in that role. His successor will be Scott McCroskie, who is currently a member of the Edrington board and managing director of The Macallan. Ian Curle joined the business in 1986 through Edrington’s subsidiary [...]...
  • Guinness to Sponsor Six Nations Rugby The iconic global brand Guinness is to become the new title sponsor of the Six Nations, with the Championship to be known as the Guinness Six Nations from 2019. The Six Nations is one of the world’s best attended sports events and regularly attracts record TV and online audiences in the UK, France, Ireland, Italy [...]...

Belgian Researchers Check Quality of Chocolate With Ultrasound

Belgian Researchers Check Quality of Chocolate With Ultrasound
June 06
09:43 2016

The quality of Belgium’s famous chocolate largely depends on the crystals that form during the hardening of the chocolate. Researchers from KU Leuven, Belgium, have now developed a new and quicker way to check whether the cocoa butter is crystallising correctly during the hardening process. The method could save the chocolate industry a lot of time and money.

Belgian chocolate is a world-famous delight. But producing a delicious bar of chocolate that has a beautiful gloss, makes that wonderful sound when you break it, melts in your mouth, and maintains all these qualities throughout its entire shelf life, is not easy. The crystallisation of the cocoa butter – the fat in the chocolate – plays an important role in that process.

Professor Imogen Foubert from the KU Leuven Department of Microbial and Molecular Systems explains: “Cocoa butter crystallises as the liquid chocolate hardens. Five types of crystals can be formed during this process, but only one of these has the qualities we want. The number, size, shape, and the way in which the crystals stick together play an important role as well.” It is therefore crucial to monitor the crystallisation of the cocoa butter closely during the chocolate production process, because we don’t want inferior chocolate ending up on shop shelves.”

“We’ve discovered that we can detect differences in the crystallisation of cocoa butter with ultrasonic waves,” adds Professor Koen Van Den Abeele from the KU Leuven Department of Physics and Astronomy. The new technique involves sending transversal ultrasonic waves through the cocoa butter. The researchers then measure the reflection of these waves for information about the structure of the butter. The technique is similar to the ultrasound echography used to monitor the health and growth of foetuses in the womb.

Chocolate manufacturers currently check the quality of their chocolate ‘offline’. A sample is taken from the production line to be analysed in a lab. This method is very time-consuming, making it impossible to intervene quickly when something is wrong. As a result, a large amount of chocolate is destroyed or re-processed – a costly affair. The novel technique can be used ‘online’ to check the chocolate while it is still on the production line.

The researchers designed a lab prototype, which now needs to be turned into a prototype for use in real chocolate production lines. The current results were obtained with cocoa butter and need to be confirmed for actual chocolate.

The findings are the result of Annelien Rigolle’s interdisciplinary doctoral research, supervised by Professor Imogen Foubert , who specialises in fat crystallisation, and Professor Koen Van Den Abeele, who is an expert in the use of ultrasound for non-destructive testing of materials such as composites, metals, and concrete.

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • June 18, 2019Multimodal 2019
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements