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Author Topic: Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?  (Read 5606 times)

valb

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« on: 01/12/2008 11:21:33 »
Hi, a first time post here from a recent convert to the show - I love the podcasts and always like to plot how I can use your Kitchen Science in my classes.

I know there are no chocolate atoms strictly speaking, but it hints to my question.

A pupil of mine recently came back from America with a box of peanut brittle (yum  :P) from a large sweet factory and he started telling me how it smelt strongly of chocolate in the area around the place. He then rambled on about how you could eat a chocolate bar by just taking a deep breath and that got me wondering: can you technically consume a chocolate bar if you breathed in enough of the chocolately aroma around a factory?

And - here's the important question - would you get the calories?


 

Offline neilep

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #1 on: 01/12/2008 12:49:20 »
Hi Val,

WELCOME TO THE FORUM !

What a great question !

I wish I knew the answer. But if it is possible then we could all be feeding just by breathing.

I think there are organisms out there that do take sustenance akin to this way.

If one is absorbing the calories then it would have to be in the minutest form but that of course does not negate the nature of your question.

Lets hope a passing ' absorption of food via air' expert answers !

 

lyner

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #2 on: 01/12/2008 22:33:16 »
Sounds a bit like passive smoking.
Fancy a passive Mars Bar?
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #3 on: 01/12/2008 22:45:53 »
I can almost taste the KFC when I pass by it.
Doesn't what you breath in go to your lungs. but food is digested/absorbed in the stomach/duodenum so at a guess I would say that you can't get the chocolate calories
 

valb

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #4 on: 02/12/2008 02:27:46 »
Ok, so no calories if nothing else - I completely ignored the fact that it doesn't go into your digestive system (I was so excited at the concept of breathing chocolate!).

But in the same way that you can inhale coal dust near a mine or refinery, can't you inhale chocolate particles? In which case, what happens?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #5 on: 02/12/2008 06:54:58 »
Much of what gets inhaled ends up in the bloodstream just as if it were swallowed.
However the mass of stuff involved is tiny so the calorie count isn't significant.
 

Offline johnson039

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #6 on: 02/12/2008 15:06:38 »
no i guess. as the chocolate 'atoms' float around the factory, they were actually 'sucked' into your nose and to your lungs. If those 'atoms' are small enough(which i m not so sure abt that), they diffuse in your bloodstream and being transport away. BUT NO DIGESTION OCCURS! unlike what we hv eaten in our stomach
 

blakestyger

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #7 on: 02/12/2008 17:58:49 »
When I worked in the sugar industry the men who were employed in the sugar bagging area were shown to have ingested sugar into their metabolism by breathing in sugar dust.
 

Offline Make it Lady

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #8 on: 02/12/2008 18:00:54 »
Smell is such a big part of taste so going past a chocolate factory, the aroma of chocolate will make you think you can taste it. I used to live next to TOMs chocolate factory when I lived in Denmark. I would roll down the windows in my car and inhale peppermint creams. Peppermint has a more diffusive aroma. Bread factories are also very smelly.
I think the smell around a factory would not be the same as working in dust particles though.
« Last Edit: 02/12/2008 18:02:32 by Make it Lady »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #9 on: 02/12/2008 20:34:53 »
A lot of what gets into your lungd ends up in your stomach anyway. The lungs (try to) dispose of solid debris by sweeping it up the windpipe. After that it gets swallowed.

Digestion isn't what provides the body with energy.
Glucose, for example, is not really digested. It is just dissolved and crosses the gut wall into the blood.
The energy is released when it undergoes chemical reactions. Those might take place directly in the muscles (as with glucose) or indirectly. For example, alcohol is converted (by a rather complicacted path which I am simplifing here) to glucose.
The liver does a of of that clever chemistry and it can't tell if a molecule of alcohol was swalowed directuly, swalowed along with some mucous after being caught in the lungs , absorbed directly from the lungs into the blood or even absorbed throughthe skin.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #10 on: 02/12/2008 23:32:05 »
I'm not sure that the 'chocolate' molecules will diffuse across into the capillaries around the lungs. If this was possible you could breath in anything and they'll move into the bloodstream. But if they do get into the bloodstream then the molecules will be distributed around the body to be used therefore you would get the calories.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #11 on: 03/12/2008 06:59:08 »
"If this was possible you could breath in anything and they'll move into the bloodstream."
You pretty nearly can. The exceptions are things that are very insoluble like asbestos fibres (which is why they cause so much harm).
The dominant smell of chocolate may well be vanilin, that's a small enough molecule to pass straight through the lungs.
Plenty of gases and vapours are toxic because they get into the blood from the lungs.
 

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Chocolate atoms around a chocolate factory?
« Reply #11 on: 03/12/2008 06:59:08 »

 

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