FEB 14, 2017 5:37 AM PST

The Dark Side or the Light Side?


It's Valentine's Day and it's all about the chemistry right? Whether you're single or paired up, it's still about the chocolate however. Which is better though? Creamy, lighter milk chocolate or rich, flavorful dark chocolate?Chemistry is part of that answer as well. The levels of cocao in the sweet treat of chocolate anything is what determines light or dark. Cocao is the term candy makers use to determine how much of the cocoa plant is actually in the final product and it's higher in dark chocolate. Some claim that dark chocolate is an aphrodisiac, with the romance factor increasing with the cocao percentage. Science doesn't bear this out sadly, since the tiny amounts of phenylethylamine it contains get metabolized by the body before making it to the brain. Polyphenols and flavonals are significant however in fighting heart disease and free radicals with their antioxidant properties and these are found in higher amounts in dark chocolate.

But milk chocolate is no slouch. Increased casein proteins and butterfat makes milk chocolate creamy good, with a smooth texture that is hard to resist. What about flavor? Some of that is subjective, especially on Valentine's Day, when the heart wants what it wants. Different strains of the cocoa plant and how the beans are processed determine whether the flavor is strong, with hits of bitterness or smoother and sweet when sugar and other ingredients are added. It's an age-old question and while Valentine's Day is supposed to be about a different kind of chemistry, it's good know the complexity of this treat. Also, pro tip: Single or attached, you should know that on February 15th, all the delicious chocolate treats (milk and dark) we've seen in the store will be 50% off. Win-win!
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
DEC 05, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
DEC 05, 2019
Cryonics: Science or Science Fiction?
Cryonics ("Cryo" related to Greek word for "cold") is a highly controversial method to deep freeze and store a deceased human body, hop...
DEC 10, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 10, 2019
The Real Reason Why Flamingos Are Pink
Flamingos are highly discernable birds best known for their bright pink appearance and long, thin legs. But have you ever wondered why these birds are the...
DEC 15, 2019
Space & Astronomy
DEC 15, 2019
MAVEN Mission Connects Mars' Wind Patterns to Surface Features
NASA’s MAVEN mission, launched on November 18th, 2013, has been orbiting Mars and investigating the planet’s features for more than half a deca...
DEC 16, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 16, 2019
Sloths Are More Interesting Than You Might Think...
The humble sloth – an animal that is renowned for its slowness. In fact, it’s considered one of the slowest mammals on the entire planet. But w...
JAN 02, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
JAN 02, 2020
Mushroom Chemistry: Pick Your Poison, or Not
Consuming wild mushrooms is largely frowned upon because it can lead to food poisoning. Its consequence ranges from vomiting and diarrhea to death within d...
JAN 21, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 21, 2020
Here's Why SpaceX Blew Up a Falcon 9 Rocket in Mid-Air
SpaceX completed a substantial milestone for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program this week, an undertaking that involved one of the commercial space compa...
Loading Comments...