View Full Version : Chocolate Mousse.... in space!

2012-Jul-10, 06:37 PM
From Laboratory Equipment Magazine on-line (http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-Microgravity-Study-Could-Make-Perfect-Chocolate-Mousse-071012.aspx?et_cid=2739786&et_rid=54636800&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fwww.laboratoryequipment.com%2f news-Microgravity-Study-Could-Make-Perfect-Chocolate-Mousse-071012.aspx)

All chefs know that preparing the perfect chocolate mousse is one part science and one part art. ESA’s microgravity research is helping the food industry understand the science behind the foams found in many types of food and drink such as meringues and coffee.

Not all foams are created equal. Consumers expect a chocolate mousse to keep its structure and taste on the journey from the supermarket to their fridge. But the froth on some drinks would seem strange if it did not disappear after a few minutes.

Creating the right type of foam on demand is tricky. Liquid flows downwards on Earth and foams are torn apart by gravity pulling on the bubbles.

Foams are easier to study in weightlessness because the bubbles are evenly spread rather than the larger bubbles floating to the top.

ESA has been investigating foams since the 1980s. Their knowledge and knowhow caught the attention of food company Nestlé over 10 years ago.

“Gaining a better understanding of foam may help to improve the texture of our products,” says Cécile Gehin-Delval, a scientist at the Nestlé Research Centre.

Nestlé has researched the issue on ESA’s parabolic aircraft flights, where they tested hardware and looked at milk protein for 20 seconds at a time during periods of weightlessness.

Parabolic flights are only one of the ways scientists can study phenomena in “zero-gravity.” Sounding rockets offer up to six minutes of weightlessness but the International Space Station is the only permanent microgravity laboratory available.

Now that researchers have proven their experiment hardware can make and analyze foams on parabolic flights, they are looking at continuing their study on the Space Station.

Forget Helium-3 or mining asteroids, we're going to make chocolate in space!

2012-Jul-10, 06:50 PM
The secret's out. THAT's why I wanted to be an astronaut.

2012-Jul-10, 07:25 PM
Wow! First the infraction, now taunting me (allergic to chocolate) with...chocolate.

Okay Swift, so you hate me today. :cry:


2012-Jul-10, 07:34 PM
The secret's out. THAT's why I wanted to be an astronaut.
Sorry; but I think you'd be disappointed.

Unfortunately for the astronauts on the Space Station, scientists need only small quantities for testing. There is no chance they will be allowed to taste the results.

I would be interested in what they have found out so far.

2012-Jul-10, 08:01 PM
But wouldn't tasting it be vital to the experiment? I mean, it's all part of cooking, right?

2012-Jul-10, 08:05 PM
But wouldn't tasting it be vital to the experiment? I mean, it's all part of cooking, right?
Not from what I can see. It looks like an experiment to study the structure of foam and not a study about it's taste.
First things first.

2012-Jul-10, 08:19 PM
But the whole ISS wil smell like chocolate. How can our brave astronauts resist? They're only human!

2012-Jul-10, 08:24 PM
A worthy endeavor.