Sir: Your article "Are chocaholics safe from the pods of doom?" (6 May) reminded me of a visit I made to the Procter & Gamble factory in Cincinnati back in the mid-1970s.
At that time, there was a world shortage of cocoa, and the boffins at P&G were working on synthesising a reliable substitute. A demonstration was arranged at a television cookery programme, in front of an audience, in which a cake was baked. Members of the audience were invited to give their opinions on the various sensory properties of the cake - how moist, sweet, chocolatey etc. Of the 100 or so "tasters", more than half thought that it had a good chocolatey flavour - it was subsequently revealed that what they had eaten was nothing more than unflavoured sweet brown flour.
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