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Cadbury develops chocolate that won't melt at high temperatures

Cadbury develops chocolate that won't melt at high temperatures
Cadbury is developing temperature tolerant chocolate for sale in tropical regions (Photo: Shutterstock)
Cadbury is developing temperature tolerant chocolate for sale in tropical regions (Photo: Shutterstock)
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Cadbury chocolate bar (Photo: Evan-Amos)
Cadbury chocolate bar (Photo: Evan-Amos)
Cadbury is developing temperature tolerant chocolate for sale in tropical regions (Photo: Shutterstock)
Cadbury is developing temperature tolerant chocolate for sale in tropical regions (Photo: Shutterstock)

One of life’s less pleasant surprises is discovering the chocolate bar that you forgot you had in your pocket on a hot day. Two scientists working at Cadbury’s research and development plant in Bourneville, U.K., are fighting that gooey surprise with the invention of chocolate that remains solid even when exposed to temperatures of 40º C (104º F) for more than three hours. Aimed at tropical markets, the “temperature tolerant chocolate” is described in a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) patent application.

Chocolate tastes great, in part, because the cocoa butter and other fats in it melt quickly and smoothly in the mouth. Chocolate softens at about 28ºC (82ºF) and melts at 32 to 35ºC. (90 to 95ºF). That makes for a nice treat, but it also makes chocolate hard to transport and store – especially in tropical regions where climate-controlled vehicles and warehouses are scarce.

This isn't simply a matter of being able to have chocolate that doesn't turn into a mess in your glove box. Chocolate is very temperature sensitive and heat can easily cause it to sag and deform and the fats and sugars can “bloom” out if it's improperly stored, resulting in an unappetizing appearance.

Temperature tolerant chocolate isn't new. In fact, it’s been around since the 1930s. Just before World War II, the U.S. military commissioned companies, most notably Hershey’s, to develop and manufacture chocolate bars for soldiers that could be carried in a pocket or stored at tropical temperatures. Over the years, millions of these were issued as regular or emergency rations and some even went to the Moon on Apollo 15. The most recent version was the “Congo Bar” carried by U.S. forces during the Gulf War.

The problem was that making a chocolate bar that wouldn't melt wasn't hard. What was hard was to make one that people still wanted to eat. The military bars didn't melt and they were nutritious, but they were difficult to eat and they didn't taste very good. That’s because the usual way to keep chocolate from melting was to either add fillers like oat flour and swap the cocoa butter for other fats, which made it taste like a candle, or adding water or glycerol to encourage sugar crystal formation, which made it gritty.

Cadbury's approach is to modify part of the chocolate manufacturing process known as “conching.” Conching is a complex mixing process that causes a number of physical and chemical changes in the chocolate. It can take anywhere between 15 minutes to an entire day depending on the type and quality of the chocolate. The conching machine’s design depends on how much chocolate is being processed, the quality, and whether it's made in batches or by continuous flow, but it generally involves temperature-controlled troughs where the chocolate is constantly pushed about by rollers, rotors or louvres.

In the conch, the chocolate undergoes a number of changes. Conching thoroughly mixes the chocolate, allowing the flavors to come out as it's aerated and volatiles and moisture are allowed to escape. As the chocolate is repeatedly pressed against the trough by the rollers or rotors, the cocoa butter and other fats coat the sugar particles in the mix.

Cadbury chocolate bar (Photo: Evan-Amos)
Cadbury chocolate bar (Photo: Evan-Amos)

In conventional conching, the sugar particles are completely and evenly coated with fats so that they slip by one another easily, but Cadbury discovered that it could make chocolate more temperature tolerant by refining it after conching instead of just before.

In testing, the temperature tolerant chocolate was heated to 40º C (104º F) for three hours, yet when pressed with a finger it didn't stick or deform. According to the Cadbury patent, the chocolate has a similar texture to Cadbury Dairy Milk and the company sees it being used in chocolate bars, biscuits and snacks in hot regions.

Source: Sumobrain via Daily Mail

Tom Arr
Please revise this to say 'chocolate-like substance' or some other such clarifying description of this abomination. To say that it has a similar texture to other Cadbury products does not aid in the classification as chocolate either.
Gary Joyce
We used to have something like this in our dehydrated ration packs (LRRP rations) back during the Viet Nam war. We called them Montagnyard Bars (Montagnyards - MON-ten-yards- was the French generic for the mountain tribes of Viet Nam) ... they'd tighten your butt up for a while as I recall!
Bruce H. Anderson
Cadbury has one-upped M&M's, it won't melt at all, in your mouth OR in your hand. In order for this concoction to ever melt in your mouth, or anywhere, one would have to have a potentially fatal fever. And death may be preferable.
Dave Gold
Um, actually - HERSHEY invented this way back during World War II. "In 1943, the Procurement Division of the United States Army approached Hershey Chocolate Corporation about the possibility of developing a heat resistant chocolate bar. Hershey's Tropical Chocolate bars were developed to provide military personnel with access to a confectionery treat in parts of the world where Hershey's traditional products would readily melt. The Tropical bar's product formula was designed to allow the bar to hold its shape after one hour in 120 degrees Fahrenheit. In July of 1971, Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bar went to the moon with Apollo 15 astronauts." And in 1990, the Hershey’s Desert bar is introduced - for military use during Desert Shield/Storm.
Sorry Cadbury. You're only about 69 years too late.
Mike Barnett
I sure hope this thing tastes less like an oatmeal/Cocoa Puff flavored crayon than the Hershey Congo/Desert bar. Come to think of it, I SHOULD have tried to write with one of those things... it would have been easier on my guts!
dave be
Far from an abomination, I was pleasantly surprised as to the simiplicity of this solution. Its not like the Army versions that use additives, it just rearranges the process they were already using. good to know.
Travis Casey
@Dave Gold - You might want to try actually reading the article before commenting on it. It talks about Hershey's Tropical Chocolate in it.
And I see the chocolate snobs are here as well. As for me, well... talk is cheap. I'll have to actually try the chocolate before I can decide whether it's any good or not.
Don Duncan
I am waiting for a major company to give us a real chocolate bar: raw chocolate, raw sugar, uncut with milk or any other fillers. Also, the perfect companion would be a coconut-chocolate bar, not coconut covered with chocolate, with and without whole roasted almonds.
I like melting chocolate, everything is getting so synthetic, processed,industrial. I like making my own candy when I can, but I will always love M&Ms.. And about that candy bar that melts in your pocket, it never stopped me from eating it :)
Charles Barnard
Even bad chocolate is better than no chocolate...until try one of these, I won't know. Can't be worse than the previous attempts, which included K-ration bars flavored with kerosene so they might make it to the front lines.
Nothing wrong with chocolate in liquid pouches @ 98 to 120 degrees....
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