Edible mechanical metamaterials with designed fracture for mouthfeel control
Metamaterials can display unusual and superior properties that come from their carefully designed structure rather than their composition. Metamaterials have permeated large swatches of science, including electromagnetics and mechanics. Although metamaterials hold the promise for realizing technological advances, their potential to enhance interactions between humans and materials has largely remained unexplored. Here, we devise a class edible mechanical metamaterials with tailored fracture properties to control mouthfeel sensory experience. Using chocolate as a model material, we first demonstrate how to create and control the fracture anisotropy, and the number of cracks, and demonstrate that these properties are captured in mouthfeel experience. We further use topology optimization to rationally design edible metamaterials with maximally anisotropic fracture strength. Our work opens avenues for the use of metamaterials to control fracture and to enhance human-matter interactions.