To help professionals and consumers better understand chocolate and its varieties, Barry Callebaut has introduced a sensory language and tasting criteria for the confection. The book “Hidden Persuaders in Cocoa and Chocolate: A Flavor Lexicon for Cocoa and Chocolate Sensory Professionals” by Barry Callebaut scientists and Givaudan provides insight on chocolate flavors, texture and aroma.

The company also created the Consumer Chocolate Sensory Wheel with 87 descriptors that assess the quality of chocolate. According to the book, a chocolate tasting requires the five senses: sight, touch, sound, smell and taste.

“While wine, coffee and craft beer could already be tasted, described and discussed in a rigorous and professional way, we lacked a language that did justice to the richness and complexity of chocolate experiences,” said Pablo Perversi, chief innovation, quality and sustainability officer, Barry Callebaut. “Containing more than 20,000 identifiable chemical compounds, cocoa is one of the most complex foodstuffs on earth. The sensory language that we have developed for chocolate will allow consumers to share their passion for a specific chocolate taste much more accurately.”

Developed over the course of two years, the book covers compounds related to chocolate flavors and categorizes taste, various aromas, as well as atypical flavors and trigeminal sensations — such as the coolness of mint or the tingling of sparkling water. It was written by Renata Januszewska and co-authored by Frederic Depypere, Isabelle Van Leuven, Priscille Pradal, Karin Loobuyck, Benedicte Veinand and Natasja Andrinja.

Ms. Januszewska, global R.&D. sensory methodologies manager, Barry Callebaut, hopes the book will help industry professionals and consumers switch their approach to chocolate and cocoa from “subconscious/emotional” to “conscious/analytical.” She believes the guide will help brands discuss the confection’s attributes and create better pairing options for consumers.

Hidden Persuaders in Cocoa and Chocolate is available now through Elsevier, an academic publishing company.