Researchers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to change the color of chocolate, and without adding any colors or dyes to it. Instead, they use a special imprint to give it a glowing, rainbow-y patina. Plus: the annual PeepsFest is getting underway, and they’re going to do a ball drop for New Year’s with a giant Peep!

Making chocolate colourful (ETH Zurich)

PeepsFest

Happy New Year to everyone, especially our backers on Patreon!

AUDIO FOR THIS EPISODE WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON

We’ve got two stories about candy for you today, because a lot of us are going to try swearing off candy tomorrow. We’ve got to enjoy it while we still can!

Here’s a development that’s very enjoyable: researchers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to change the color of chocolate.

They were talking about why chocolate is brown and whether it was possible to make regular chocolate others colors, rather than taking white chocolate and adding coloring to it.

At first they tried edible coatings, but they decided those would be too complicated and too expensive for mass production.

But was there another way to color chocolate that didn’t involve additives?

Scientist Anita Zingg found one in her master’s project research.

It’s called a structural color. Essentially if you imprint the surface of the chocolate in just the right way, it brings out color that’s already in there somehow.

They described it as like how a chameleon has all those colors inside and changes itself to show them.

The structural colors look sort of like glowing tie-dye, and the researchers think there’s a way to bring that glow to mass-market candies.

The good news there is they wouldn’t need much in the way of fancy packaging, right?

If you’re celebrating the new year in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, don’t forget to check out the annual PeepsFest, which brings together those iconic marshmallow and sugar treats with the coming of the new year.

They do this in just the way you’d hope they would: at 5:15 pm they drop a 4 foot, 9 inch tall, 400-pound decorated Peep!

It’s like the Times Square ball drop, only sweeter.

Thanks for making 2019 such a sweet year for this podcast, and may you get plenty of time with your peeps in 2020.