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Chocolate research centre to open in Sweden

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18:08 CET+01:00
Some people have all the luck: researchers and the chocolate industry are to set up a centre in Sweden devoted to research into chocolate, researchers said Monday.

The main role of the centre will be to improve product quality, said Paul Smith, area manager for fat technology at the Stockholm-based Institute for Surface Chemistry (YKI).

"We've worked with chocolate companies and suppliers for a few years," Smith told AFP.

"We've seen there are various issues relevant to all different chocolate companies.

"Our aim is to work on chocolate research and look at physical properties and behaviour of chocolate."

One problem set for investigation is the whitening of chocolate when left in the open for a period of time.

The change, known as "fat bloom" in the industry, effects filled chocolates in particular. It is caused when oil moves through the chocolate from the centre to the surface.

"If we can block the gaps through which the oil migrates, we could slow down or prevent the process," Smith said.

Experts currently carry out research on chocolate independently. But the centre, due to open in April, will be the world's first devoted exclusively to chocolate, said Smith.

The centre will be split between Stockholm and the city of Gothenburg on Sweden's west coast.

It will be funded by Swedish and international chocolate producers, but Smith said they also hoped to secure European Union backing.

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