Author: Setayesh Norouzkhani

The evaluation of essential oils in the chocolate industry can refer to a set of different stages and factors. Below, we review some key steps for evaluating essential oils in the chocolate industry:

1. Selection of essential oil: At first, there are various essential oils for the chocolate industry. To choose the right essential oil, you need to consider the following factors:

Chemical constituents: The chemical constituents of essential oils, including active compounds and aromatic substances, are very important. Scientific research and preliminary experiments are conducted to detect the chemical composition of the essential oil in order to know their effects on chocolate.

Authenticity and quality: high-quality essential oils are used to prepare chocolate. The authenticity and quality of essential oils should be declared by the reliable producers and the relevant certificates should be available for this purpose.

Compatibility with the product: The essential oil should match the style and type of chocolate used. For example, dark chocolate essential oil may be made from bitter or bitter-sweet essential oils.

2. Sensory tests: Sensory tests are very important to evaluate essential oils. In these tests, chocolate samples are prepared using different essential oils and evaluated by experienced sensory teams. The taste, aroma, color and consistency of chocolate are checked using different essential oils. These tests are done with the help of the sense of sight, smell and taste, and the comments and feedback from the sensory team are used to choose the best essential oil used in chocolates.

3. Comparison and chemical analysis: In this step, chemical analyzes are performed on the selected essential oils. These analyzes include the detection of chemical compounds, different ratios of compounds and the degree of contamination with undesirable substances. These analyzes are performed with the help of different equipment such as gas chromatography (GC) and absorption-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

4. Stability test: essential oils must have good stability in long-term conditions so that they do not change during the product’s lifetime. Checking the stability of essential oils includes thermal, optical and oxidation tests.

Stability test means checking and evaluating the amount of changes and evolutions that the essential oil may show over time and under different conditions. These tests are considered to check and guarantee the strength and quality of essential oils throughout the product’s life

Stability testing usually includes the following steps:

Thermal test: This test is done in order to evaluate and tolerate the essential oil at different temperatures. Samples containing essential oils are placed at different temperatures and their taste, aroma and quality changes are examined over time. This test is important to investigate the effect of heat on the stability of essential oil in chocolate production and storage processes.
Light test: In this test, samples containing essential oils are exposed to direct light or artificial light. Changes in color, taste and quality of essential oil are evaluated in response to light. Optical test helps to detect color changes and oxidation of essential oil.
Oxidation test: oxidation of essential oils can cause undesirable changes in their taste and aroma. Oxidation test is done to check the sensitivity of essential oil to oxygen and the effects of contact with metals used in the chocolate industry.

Stability tests of essential oils can be done with the help of various equipment, including sampling forms, sensory testing devices, spectrometry, and chemical analysis equipment. For example, absorption-infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) devices are used to analyze chemical changes in essential oils. Also, equipment such as gas chromatography (GC) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) can also be used to analyze the composition of essential oils and detect changes over time.

The importance of stability testing in the chocolate industry is to ensure that the essential oils do not change optimally during the product’s lifetime and maintain the taste, aroma and quality of the chocolate. These tests increase the strength and stability of chocolate products and prevent quality reduction and undesirable behavior over time.

It is important that stability tests are carried out continuously in the chocolate production process, and also that selected samples are evaluated under long-term storage conditions. These measures help to ensure the quality and stability of chocolate products and customer satisfaction.

5. Marketing test: In this stage, chocolates containing selected essential oils are presented to consumers and their opinions on taste, aroma and added value of essential oils are collected. These tests are done with the help of surveys, comparative tests and customer feedback.

Finally, according to the results of the above steps, essential oils that are considered suitable for chocolates are selected.

Fortunately, the evaluation of essential oils in the chocolate industry today is also done with the help of more advanced techniques. Some of the additional methods and factors that can be added to the evaluation of essential oils are as follows:

6. Scientific research: New scientific research on the composition and properties of essential oils can help develop and improve the evaluation process. These investigations may include biological investigations, sensory analysis and various experiments.

7. Use of advanced analysis technology: Techniques such as high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and mass spectrometry (MS) can help identify and analyze the chemical composition of essential oils more precisely.

8. Investigation of biological effects: More studies may be conducted to investigate the biological effects of essential oils on human behavior and health. This includes acute and chronic toxicity tests, side effects screening, and adverse compound evaluation.

9. Advances in technology: As technology advances, methods such as DNA-based analysis and phenotyping can be used in the identification and evaluation of essential oils.

Note that the evaluation of essential oils in the chocolate industry can be done alone or by using a combination of the methods and factors mentioned above. Also, international standards and guidelines related to essential oils and the chocolate industry can also be used as a guide for evaluation.

Finally, industry experience and knowledge also play a very important role in the evaluation of essential oils in the chocolate industry. Manufacturers and technical teams with years of experience in the field of chocolate preparation and use of essential oils can use their knowledge and experience to choose the best essential oils for the chocolate industry.

The importance of accurate and appropriate evaluation of essential oils in the chocolate industry is that it affects the taste, aroma and final quality of the product. Also, the ability to compete in the market and respond to the needs of customers is directly related to the use of high-quality and appropriate essential oils in the preparation of chocolate.


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