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Chocolate Finally Understood: UC Santa Barbara and Nestle Uncover the Physics of Self-Aggregating Foods

Computed structure for a model lipid-water structureScientists from UCSB's Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) and the Nestle Research Center (NRC), Lausanne, Switzerland have resolved a long-standing problem in the self-assembly behavior of lipid molecules in water. The collaboration has resulted in a theoretical model and simulation method that explains the spontaneous formation of cubic liquid crystalline phases in lipid-water mixtures, which are vital to the transport of flavors and nutrients in foods. This allows the optimum delivery of both oil and water soluble flavors, fragrances, and nutrients - as just one example, this allows even better tasting and more nutritious chocolate to be designed in the future. Various  foodsComputed structure of the Gyroid cubic phase for a model lipid-water mixture. W. B. Lee, G. H. Fredrickson (UCSB) and R. Mezzenga (NRC), Phys. Rev. Lett. 99, 187801 (2007)