The Ultimate in Extreme Chocolate!

The Army -- yes, the Army -- creates extreme chocolate for soldiers.

How would you define extreme chocolate? What if it was fortified with vitamins, wouldn't melt, and lasted for up to two years? Well, that's exactly what Australian soldiers might soon find in their ration packs!

What's the Point?

Why would anyone want this kind of extreme chocolate, anyway? It all comes down to what a soldier has to carry. Ration packs are for fairly extreme conditions. They can't be heavy (after all, they have to be lugged around all day), but they have to have sufficient food and nutrients to keep the soldier going through a heavy workload. Many experts also worry that an unvaried and boring diet is psychologically damaging to soldiers, who already face a harsh work environment.

Including dark chocolate in ration packs has many advantages even when it's NOT extreme:

-it's a sweet treat
-it's light and easy to carry
-chocolate releases endorphins, which make people feel better
-dark chocolate contains extremely healthy antioxidants

Of course, traditional chocolate has some disadvantages, too:

-it melts
-it breaks
-it spoils
-it's loaded with sugar and fat

Chocolate to the Rescue!

Maybe you think chocolate doesn't leave much room for improvement, but obviously where a soldier's concerned, that isn't the case. That's where extreme chocolate comes in! Scientists are working on a new type of chocolate (so far limited to dark, although they're experimenting with milk chocolate, too). This chocolate would be specifically designed for soldiers and ration packs.

What makes it extreme chocolate? It maintains the benefits of dark chocolate (yes, it still tastes good, although the jury's out as to whether it tastes AS good) while eliminating many disadvantages.

1. Made from fats with a higher melting point.

The normal chocolate bar melts at around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. These new extreme chocolate bars can last in temperatures up to 120 ºF -- obviously, a benefit in the desert!

2. Improved nutritional value.

Treats are nice, but soldiers have to get maximum benefits from minimal materials. That's why scientists have fortified extreme chocolate with vitamins A, C, and thiamine. The chocolate now serves two functions: besides being a tasty treat, it becomes an essential source of vitamins you would normally get from fresh fruit and vegetables, both of which are hard to carry in a ration pack.

Real chocolate lovers always knew chocolate was the key to winning a war! It'll be interesting to see if this new extreme chocolate makes people more enthusiastic about the army.

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