Textural changes in chocolate characterized by instrumental and sensory techniques

Lia M. Andrae-Nightingale, Soo Yeun Lee, Nicki J. Engeseth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cocoa butter has a distinct texture due to unique interactions of polymorphic lipid structures. Part of chocolate's appeal is smooth mouthfeel; as fat or sugar bloom forms, textural change is perceived. Correlation of instrumental and sensory texture analysis has not been conducted in stored chocolate. The objective of this study was to analyze texture and color of dark and milk chocolate stored under conditions leading to fat and/or sugar bloom by instrumental and sensory measurements. Milk and dark chocolate was stored 5 weeks at various temperatures and relative humidity (RH), followed by instrumental and sensory texture analysis. All attributes, except springiness, were significantly affected by treatments. According to partial least squares linear regression, instrumental hardness, cohesiveness, chewiness and gumminess modeled sensory hardness. The 30.0C incubator experienced temperature fluctuations, resulting in severe fat bloom. Temperature fluctuations during storage had more influence on texture perception than storage at high temperatures or high RH. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS This research serves as an initial study on textural aspects of chocolate quality upon storage that is the first report to correlate instrumental textural analysis of chocolate to sensory evaluation. Storage temperature and humidity of chocolate greatly impacts consumer texture perception, which is valuable information to small chocolate handlers and manufacturers who have noted to us that many of the larger companies may have this information - but it is not widely available. It also sets the stage for more detailed studies on texture and flavor of chocolate during storage. Although many storage studies on chocolate exist, those that intertwine studies of quality from both an instrumental and a sensory standpoint are lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-444
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Texture Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Chocolate
  • Fat bloom
  • Sensory
  • Storage
  • Texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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