Chocolate shimmers with help from science

Chocolate shimmers with help from science

In May, Samy Kamkar shared his latest creation on Twitter: chocolate that shimmers like a rainbow with a little help from science.

Rather than being a chocolatier, Samy is actually a founder of internet security company Openpath, and was infamous for releasing a virus on the Myspace social network back in 2005.

Inspired by a similar iridescent effect he’d seen on black plastic at a maker meet-up in Los Angeles and armed with a 3D printer, he wondered what else he could use the effect on.

He designed a 3D model for casting that included, at its base, a saw-tooth wave pattern. Each of the grooves is a few micrometres wide. The chocolate, when poured inside, adapted the inverse of this pattern on its surface.

Posting a video of the chocolate in motion to Twitter, Samy wrote: “I’m finally getting some decent results producing 100 per cent edible iridescent tempered chocolate.

The colours are from the chocolate (not any ingredient or coating) diffracting light after being forcefully moulded onto a diffraction grating in vacuum.”

In December, researchers from ETH Zurich and FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland found a way to imprint a special structure on the surface of the chocolate to create a targeted iridescent colour effect.

The effect is achieved simply through a surface imprint that produces what the scientists refer to as a structural colour. The process is similar to a chameleon, whose skin surface modulates and disperses light to display specific colours.

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