Division of Marketing & Communications

By: Posted on: February 13, 2013 In:
Justin Lytle with chocolate
Chemistry professor Justin Lytle, shows students the chemistry of chocolate. (Photo by Jesse Major’14)

‘For the love of chocolate’

By Jesse Major ’14

Roughly 40 chocolate lovers gathered in Leraas Lecture Hall the day before Valentine’s Day, “for the love of chocolate, aphrodisiac and food of the gods.”

“When there’s free chocolate, you get a larger crowd,” said Justin Lytle, assistant professor of chemistry, as he showed the group the four chocolates they would later eat.

A reoccurring theme throughout the lecture was the best foods are rotten. This includes cheese, yogurt, wine, and best of all, chocolate.

“Chocolate is like wine, something many [students] don’t know (anything) about,” Lytle said. The flavor or chocolate depends on where the cacao plant is grown and how it is processed. There may be health benefits from this delicacy. Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than apples. But, when the calories of chocolate are taken into consideration, apples are probably the better way to go.

Another health benefit proven by research funded by Mars, a candy company that earns $30 billion annually, showed that chocolate actually lowers cholesterol. Despite these claim that chocolate is healthy, it is not the reason we eat chocolate. It’s simply delicious.