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Today I learnt that chocolate tempering works by controlling the temperature to ensure the crystals set to one (type V) of the six polymorphs.

enter image description here

What do these polymorphs actually look like? By that I mean: what is the crystal structure? Also, what gives type V its properties?

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The actual polymorphic compound is the fat (cocoa butter). They pure phases will all look like white powders and the 'bloom' referred to in your diagram is white cocoa butter extruded by the solid chocolate, and probably the most obvious visual difference.

The melt-in-your mouth aspect of Form V is going to be because of its appropriate melting point w.r.t your mouth temperature. The decrease in mechanical stability as the melting point decreases is fairly typical of solids (think of plastics softening as you heat them up).

Afraid I don't know why Form V is shinier.

C.f. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969806X04003019

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  • $\begingroup$ Please not from the tag, that this is a question about crystal structure. I have edited the question for clarity? $\endgroup$ – spraff Feb 20 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ Ah ok – the linked paper contains some of the structures, and references to the rest. $\endgroup$ – MJCJM Mar 6 at 22:16

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