FEB 14, 2017 05:37 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
SEP 11, 2018
Videos
SEP 11, 2018
Are you sleeping right? The sleep stages explained
Are you having trouble sleeping? Well, you're not alone. The number of people affected by sleep problems such as sleep apnea or insomnia is startling h...
SEP 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
SEP 24, 2018
Here's Why Goat Eyes Look Weird
Taking a closer look at a goat’s eyeball, you might notice that their pupils are elongated from side-to-side rather than round like a human’s;...
OCT 03, 2018
Videos
OCT 03, 2018
The Use of Cannabis to Treat Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can lead to depression, addiction to opioids, anxiety, other side effects, and more. The first video from Howcast talks about clinical tr...
OCT 16, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 16, 2018
The Science Behind Whacking Your 'Funny Bone'
If you’ve ever smacked your elbow in just the right way, then you might’ve felt a sensation comparable to pins and needles moving up your arm a...
OCT 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 17, 2018
The Science Behind Tardigrade's Ability to Survive Dehydration
Tardigrades, also known as water bears, are a type of eight-legged micro-animals that are less than half-millimeter in length.  There are over a thous...
OCT 18, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
OCT 18, 2018
Lake Karachay The Most Radioactively Polluted Place on Earth
Located next to a Soviet's plutonium fuel processing center, Lake Karachay a small lake in Central Russia was considered the world' most conta...
Loading Comments...