Filled chocolates often show signs of bloom before the best before date has been reached. These products can no longer be sold and lead to customer complaints. This has a considerable economic impact.
Tests to study the storage stability of products are very time-consuming and costly. In order to get meaningful results a test period of at least 1.5 years is needed. In practice, accelerated tests are therefore used to determine the storage stability. Results are obtained after just a few weeks. However, these results only allow comparative statements to be made and do not give concrete information about the storage stability under "normal" conditions.
The objective of this research project is to improve the predictability of the storage stability of chocolate products. A software tool will be developed to model the migration of the components of fillings as a function of the storage conditions. The will be based on models for quality changes in chocolates that have already been intensively researched. The main aspects of the research project are developing the software tool and carrying out accelerated storage tests. Data will then be derived for the storage stability of products under normal conditions. The model must be applicable for fat-containing, alcohol-containing, and emulsified (truffle) fillings.
The project work will allow accelerated tests to be used for the first time to get scientifically reasoned statements about product stability under real storage conditions.
The findings will be of particular interest to small and medium sized companies (SMEs) and will facilitate their quality assurance and product development. SMEs make up just under half of all producers of filled chocolate products.