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Can 3D printers make chocolate crispier?

Answer: Yes.

Did you know there's a whole science behind the crispiness of chocolate? Apparently, good chocolate is supposed to crack with a distinct snap when you bite into it, and not crumble quietly like the cheaper stuff does. The sound and feel of chocolate when you bite into it is very important to the overall experience of enjoying it, so a research team at the University of Amsterdam set out to see if they could use a 3D printer to enhance the crispiness of chocolate.

The process was quite complicated, involving putting tempered chocolate — meaning it has been repeatedly melted and cooled to form a crystalline structure — into a 3D printer. They had to keep the tempered chocolate at 90 degrees Fahrenheit while it was being printed into complex shapes designed to improve the crispiness of the finished product.

The results were published in a paper in the journal Soft Matters entitled “Edible mechanical metamaterials with designed fracture for mouthfeel control.” That’s a mouthful (pun intended).