Three Centres of Excellence combine to present - The Science of Chocolate

Is chocolate good or bad for us? Scientists from the Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science (CXS)‚ Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology (FRCB)‚ and Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems (Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute‚ AMSI) revealed the answer to this enduring question to residents at the Melbourne Rylands Retirement Villages during National Science Week 2008.

"We want to give people the message that eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate‚ which contains antioxidants‚ will benefit your health through fighting free radical damage. So no-one should feel guilty about occasionally indulging in chocolate"‚ said Dr Michelle Taylor‚ ARC Centre of Excellence for Free Radical Chemistry and Biotechnology.

In addition to hearing about the health benefits of chocolate‚ residents had the opportunity to sample and rate numerous dark chocolate varieties in the same way chocolate companies conduct market research‚ and heard how synchrotron science has helped enlighten chocolate manufacturers with what makes some chocolate better than others. The statistical results of the audience\'s chocolate preferences were presented by Dr Dimetre Triadis‚ AMSI and details on how chocolate companies know the most delectable products to market were presented by Dr Stephen Mudie‚ on behalf of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-ray Science and the Australian Synchrotron.

The event was well received by the residents‚ many of whom were retired medical practitioners and scientists. "A brilliant idea‚ very interesting‚ great to keep up to date with some of the advances in science and technology"‚ said Rylands resident Mr Charles Ross.

"We were really excited to present this event to senior Melbournians"‚ said Tania Smith‚ ARC Centre of Excellence for Coherent X-Ray Science‚ "National Science Week activities usually target younger age groups‚ but we at the Centres of Excellence are aware that senior people are just as interested in science and wanted to bring some of the celebrations of our scientific achievements to them. What better way than with chocolate!"

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