A new kind of chocolate has been shared earlier this month by creator Samy Kamkar. This shimmering delicacy comes not from a chocolatier, but the founder of Openpath, an internet security company. The company gained immediate fame in 2005 for being responsible for a virus that was released on the Myspace social network.
A similar endeavour was manufactured by the company several years ago on black plastic. The iridescent plastic saw the first attempt of the idea. Kamkar said, "I wondered what else I could do this on."
A beautiful-looking treat
According to the New York Times, Kamkar initially thought of using the colourful surface on hard candy but realized that it would have posed no challenge. Chocolate, on the other hand, with its melting characteristics, offered a greater level of difficulty.
The project took Kamkar two months to finish, but he was rewarded with a repeatable technique. "Anyone can do this at home," he said. "There's no coating. There's no special ingredient. It's the surface texture of the chocolate itself that's producing it."
The idea is not original to Kamkar, however, as the process has a filed request for patent by a group of scientists from ETH Zurich and FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
The idea for the original process was inspired by sheer curiosity, where the researchers monitored the qualities of chocolate to understand what they can of the material and what makes it chocolate, as reported by ETH Zurich.
Kampar's process, however, consisted of a 3-D model cast that utilized a saw-tooth wave pattern at its base. The melted chocolate placed within would adapt the inverse design of the material.
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The chocolate, to be prepared for the procedure, would have to be tempered, which meant it had to be heated and cooled in a calibrated sequence. This process gave the chocolate its optimum properties to shine like a rainbow.
Afterwards, Kamkar pressurized the chocolate in a vacuum chamber, which he stated might not be needed and decided to come up with a mushroom-shaped mould because "mushrooms are magical," he added.
What makes this possible?
The principle behind the remarkable effect is diffraction, a process of interaction of light hitting a surface and is then drawn or pulled apart.
The resulting shape of the chocolate by the mould as Kamkar produced, resulted in diffracted light being the majority of what is seen, leading to the rainbow shine.
David A. Weitz, a professor of physics and applied physics at Harvard University, said that the process of diffraction is also seen in insects such as butterflies to show off beautiful patterns on their wings or bodies.
"It's the best-tasting diffraction grating you'll ever see," said the professor. "It's a simple idea. And to me, when I say something is simple, it is the best compliment I'll pay."
Dr Weitz added that the saw-tooth pattern mould used by Kamkar isn't required as long as the properties of the shapes and lines are spaced in proximity to the wavelength of light, the outcome will be similar. "The basic fundamental physics will be the same," he added.