For years, the tagline for M&Ms candies has been, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands” — anyone who’s ever seen a small child’s face and hands all smeary with half-eaten chocolate can understand why such sentiment might appeal. Now, however, thanks to researchers at Cadbury Chocolate in England, those messy days may be a thing of the past.
The Daily Mail reported this week that scientists at the company’s recently opened research-and-development facility in the village of Bournville in Birmingham, England, have created “temperature-tolerant chocolate,” which resists melting.
The key to the modified treat lies in grinding the sugar used to produce chocolate into smaller particles, resulting in less fat coverage of the grains. Cadbury tested different particle sizes and varied the fat content during the development process to find out what combinations produced optimal heat resistance.
“In general, lower fat contents and lower particle sizes gave best temperature tolerance,” the firm’s scientists wrote in a patent application.
The patent-pending recipe refuses to melt at 40°C, whereas regular chocolate begins to liquefy slightly below average human body temperature, 37°C. There’s just one catch: the product will only be available in warmer countries, such as Brazil and India.
“Production of temperature-tolerant chocolate would allow production of chocolate-containing product more suitable for hot climates, particularly in less economically developed countries where the supply chain is ill equipped to handle temperature fluctuations,” the application states.
Some Brits are upset with Cadbury’s decision to refrain from selling the innovated candy in England and see it as another strike against Kraft Foods, which took over the brand in early 2010 in a controversial $19.5 billion deal. Parliament member Robert Halfon told the Daily Mail that the choice is unfair.
“Kraft promised British chocolate for British people when they took over Cadbury,” he said. “This is incredibly disappointing. We invented this brand and now British workers are not being allowed to enjoy the chocolate of their labors. I would urge them to reconsider this and allow British people to have same rights as chocolate eaters in other countries.”
Retired chocolate taster Angus Kennedy told the Daily Mail that he believes Britain would embrace the altered sweet, citing its ability to eliminate unsightly stains from households with kids across the land.
“I think such a product would be very popular here. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be a seasonal product for the warmer months,” he said. “We also eat far more chocolate in this country than in most other places. So we should get the benefits when they come up with new innovations.”