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Chocolate scientists: It’s all pretty delicious

Don’t feel bad if you bought your sweetheart a regular old box of Hershey’s this Valentine’s Day.

Don’t feel bad if you bought your sweetheart a regular old box of Hershey’s this Valentine’s Day. According to students at Cooper Union, there’s no distinguishable chemical difference between cheap chocolate and the more pricey brands.

“We couldn’t really tell the different types of chocolates from each other in terms of chemical composition. So that was surprising,” Cooper Union chemistry professor Ruben Savizky told Metro. Along with two students, they examined 70 different types of chocolate from 30 different brands, from the cheapest, Trader Joe’s at 43 cents per ounce, to the most expensive, Max Brenner’s at $2.82 per ounce.

An experiment they thought would take a few weeks took over four months as the students looked at the thousands of different chemical compounds that make up chocolate. For example, there are more than 500 different compounds in chocolate just to give it its smell alone.

What also makes chocolate expensive is all the other ingredients. “It’s the processing of it; a lot of companies use vegetable oil rather than cocoa butter,” said

Lynda Stern, owner of Bond Street Chocolate in the East Village, whose chocolates were tested in the study.

“But when you get right down to it, if you look at organic chocolate and think you are getting a tastier product, we can’t necessarily verify that,” Savizky said. “Of course, my wife likes Hershey’s and she was like, ‘I could have told you this without all the fancy equipment.’”

 
 
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