Belgian scientist Frederic Depypere has created a chocolate capable of not melting even when exposed to heat. His idea was born not in his native Belgium, known for its frequent rainfall and not-so-warm temperatures, but in distant Shanghai, where he was at a scientific conference 5 years ago.
It was there that he found out first hand how quickly the delicious treat can turn into a thick sludge, when exposed to high temperatures. Depypere's idea for developing a chocolate dessert that doesn't melt was not so much related to the comfort of consumers but with the economical possibilities.
“I thought if we want to bring a product to countries like China or India, we need to change something, ” said the scientist, head of research at one of the largest chocolate producers in the world, Barry Callebaut, quoted by Bloomberg.
5 years after they began their research, Depypere believes they are finally ready to market a chocolate that can't melt in the hands of consumers but only in their mouth.
Currently, the developed product remains completely unaffected even at temperatures of 100°F (38°C). His goal is for the new product to be able to endure temperatures of up to 108°F (42°C).
Depypere is in a rush to put the new chocolate out on the market since several other leading companies in the industry are also working to do the same. The industry is aiming to find a way to potentially make billions in countries with a warmer climate.
Initial analyses show that if companies are able to make a quality chocolate that does not melt at high degrees, the market for the tasty product in the Asian Pacific region, Latin America, Middle East and Africa will grow by more than 50%, reaching as much as $48 billion by 2019. Economists are estimating a market growth of barely 15% in Europe and North America for the same period.
Research for developing a chocolate that doesn't melt has been ongoing for more than 4 decades. At the moment there are nearly 90 similar patents, most of them made in the past 10 years.