A Roman relic made in chocolate using a food-silicone mold

A joint project between Lyon Central Engineering School and Elkem Silicones, using a silicone mold, to give Lyon students a ‘taste’ of history in chocolate

Claudius, Rome's fourth Emperor was born in Lyon in 10 AD, and was the first non-native of Rome to lead the Empire, from 41 to 54 AD, when he was assassinated. In 48 AD, at the height of his powers, he made a landmark speech to the Roman Senate, which was inscribed in bronze by the inhabitants of Lugdunum, the Roman name of the capital of Gaul, which was to become the modern city of Lyon, where Elkem Silicones is headquartered. Fragments of this historic relic, known as the Lyon Table in English and the Table de Claude (or Table claudienne) in French, can be seen at Lyon's Gallo-Roman museum. The Ecole Centrale de Lyon, the city's leading engineering school, thought it would be interesting to mold the bronze plaque fragments in chocolate. They were looking for a food contact suitable silicone to make a replica that would be used for teaching purposes and in particular to give children a 'taste' of the history of the Roman Empire in France.

Elkem Silicones immediately accepted this highly original idea as an excellent opportunity to support an interesting project in the company's hometown and to strengthen its partnership with Lyon's leading engineering school. Elkem offered a product that:

  • Is especially designed to reproduce the finest details and offers mechanical resistance and a long-life span for making multiple molds
  • Is widely used for molding objects in chocolate, sugar, marzipan and for decorative items in sugar-based treats, biscuits and confectionery products.
  • May meet chemical and physical property requirements as described in different national regulations.

The partnership between Ecole Centrale de Lyon and Elkem Silicones was a great success for all parties concerned, with a great number of participants in the event and very positive reactions from students and other researchers for this original program to make history more attractive to people of all ages.