Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Attention! Attention! All chocolate lovers! A new study has found a way to replace the fat in chocolate with a healthier additive: fruit juice.
Scientists from University of Warwick have found a way to replace up to 50 percent of the fat with fruit juice, by removing much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate. The British scientists substitute those fats with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.
They infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using a method known as the Pickering emulsion. The Pickering emulsion prevents the small juice droplets from merging and fusing together. The team´s formulation in the molten state also showed a yield stress which meant that they could prevent the droplets from sinking to the bottom of the candy bar. The process also prevents the unsightly “sugar bloom” which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.
The researchers said, most importantly, the clever innovative substitution doesn´t take away the chocolaty “mouth-feel” given by the fatty ingredients. The chemists said the chocolate will still appeal to chocaholics, as months of perfecting went into the process to ensure it kept the same texture.
Lead researcher Dr Stefan Bon, from the University´s Department of Chemistry, said: “Everyone loves chocolate — but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat“¦ However it´s the fat that gives chocolate all the indulgent sensations that people crave — the silky smooth texture and the way it melts in the mouth but still has a ℠snap´ to it when you break it with your hand.”
“We´ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ℠chocolaty´ but with fruit juice instead of fat,” he added. “Our study is just the starting point to healthier chocolate — we´ve established the chemistry behind this new technique but now we´re hoping the food industry will take our method to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars.”
They researchers do admit the chocolate will have a fruity taste to it, but an option to use water and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) instead of juice would keep the chocolate taste in play.
The team now plan to let the food industry use the technique to create the healthy bars.
The study, titled “Quiescent Water-in-Oil Pickering Emulsions as a Route toward Healthier Fruit Juice Infused Chocolate Confectionary,” was co-authored by Thomas Skelhon, Adam Morgan, and Nadia Grossiord at the University of Warwick. It is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry.