Thursday, April 5, 2012


I received a tip to the news story:

A Chocolate a Day to Get Slimmer?:Does chocolate make you fat? Just the opposite: It appears to make you thin. ( Read more)

True or not the story did get me thinking....about chocolate.

AOCS staffers seem to have an obsession with all things chocolate.

I give you, Exhibit A: The frequently raided candy dish of Jack Wolowiec (AOCS Area Manager, Publications).

Strangely full -a most rare occurrence

Exhibit B: The M&M dispenser of the AOCS Graphic Designer, Lee Galaway.

Almost empty!

Yes, our dedication to chocolate is unmatched. Nevertheless, in true association spirit, we are sharing our love of chocolate with our members this year.

1. We will be hosting a short course on chocolate at this year's AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo. The course is entitled, "Fats and Oils for Confectionary and Chocolates: Chemistry, Primary Sources, Crystallization, Alternatives, and Stability". The short course is organized by Guillermo E. Napolitano (Nestlé, USA) and Sefa Koseoglu, (Filtration and Membrane World, USA).
"Chocolate and confectionary fats derived from natural and nutritious raw materials (palm, rape, and exotic oils) are used in areas such as cocoa butter alternatives and replacement for butterfat, and provide solutions to eliminate trans fatty acids in chocolate fillings, compounds, and many other confectionary applications.

The short course program is organized to provide information to engineers, chemists, and technicians who want to gain a strong understanding of structure and function of fats and oils for confectionary and chocolates."
Sounds yummy educational to me! Find out more about the course here.

2. If you are attending the short course above or the 103rd AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo in Long Beach, California, you will have the opportunity to win chocolate while also supporting AOCS Honored Students.

Mr. Neil Widlak (ADM) kindly donated two 10-pound blocks of chocolate for the AOCS Foundation Silent Auction. One is milk chocolate (Ambrosia Luxurie), the other dark chocolate (Ambrosia Elite). I hope they actually make it to Long Beach!

Amy Lydic, AOCS Foundation Manager, poses with the chocolate

3. Finally, AOCS Press is soon to debut, "AOCS Oilseed Monograph vol. 6, Cocoa Butter and Related Compounds".

From the AOCS Press new cocoa butter book, Nissim Garti and Neil R. Widlak share:
“Chocolate is a delight and makes us happy; it is an indulgence everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy. While most people are aware of chocolate’s enjoyment, most people are not aware of the nutritional and health benefits the minor components in chocolate provide.
Only a very few consumers, confectioners, and food scientists know much about the cocoa butter, which is a key component in chocolate and responsible for many of the desirable sensory attributes unique to chocolate. It is cocoa butter’s unique mixture of triglycerides that impart the desirable melting properties of chocolate that set the standard of quality for indulgent confections.
However, this unique mixture of triglycerides has its unique problems. If not cooled properly or if it is stored for long periods of time and/or under fluctuating temperatures, the physical structure of the cocoa butter will change and impart an unappealing “bloom” on the chocolate’s surface. Cocoa butter must be tempered during cooling to obtain an optimal crystal state that will minimize the bloom effect. The complex physical changes, under complex tempering conditions, that occur remain still somewhat obscure. Many decades of research have passed and still the bloom and its relation to cocoa butter’s unique polymorphic behavior, crystal development and growth, and interaction with other chocolate ingredients are not fully understood.
This book brings to readers the progress of the last 10 years’ studies on cocoa butter. Descriptions of several aspects, including physical characteristics such as rheology, hardness, melt profiles, etc., studied by new and advanced techniques are included. Similarly, the polymorphism of cocoa butter is reconsidered in light of studies done by synchrotron DSC, FTIR, and SAXS techniques. These data are complemented by new understandings on the cause of the crystallization and transitions of the polymorphs. Other aspects such as the effect of minor components, emulsifiers, and other fats are discussed in great detail in this book.
We hope that the book will help technicians and scientists to familiarize themselves with the latest progress in this very fascinating research area. And to those newcomers in the field, we believe that this volume will be educational and informative."

Sounds like an inspiring read....I know it got me motivated (to eat chocolate). If you would like more information on this title or would like to order an advance copy, please email

The book will be available to view and purchase at the bookstore (located in the AOCS Pavilion) during the 103rd AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

Happy eating!

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