When it comes to the crunch…

November 2nd, 2014

Why do chocolate biscuits taste so yummy after they’ve been dunked in tea?

“Mmmm… it turns the chocolate all warm and gooey” may be the obvious answer — but that was never going to satisfy Heston Blumenthal, the self-confessed “mad scientist” of the kitchen.

So the TV chef turned to a team from the University for a more rigorous explanation.

Heston was hooked up to the MS-NOSE mass spectrometer in the Flavour labs run by the Division of Food Sciences in the School of Biosciences to explain his reactions the aroma of a dunked biscuit. And the Nanotom, an X-ray tomography scanner, looked at changes in a dunked biscuit’s structure.

Several biscuits later, Heston revealed: “If you have chocolate on one side, if it melts a bit, you get a velvety smooth texture and then the delicious flavour as a result.”

The findings were aired on Channel 4 TV series Heston’s Fantastical Food.

Dr Ian Fisk, lecturer in food chemistry and an expert on aroma and taste, said: “This is a good example, if a little quirky, of the science that exists behind normal food.”

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