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Scientist have finally found a way to halve the fat of chocolate with something that’s not gross or widely expensive — juice.
University of Warwick chemists in Coventry, UK used tiny droplets of orange and cranberry juice to replace the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, and the results were reportedly delicious.
They used what is known as a Pickering emulsion, which prevents the small droplets from merging with each other.
Aside from the reduced fat, the best part is that the juice doesn’t change the chocolatey “mouth-feel” usually created by the fatty ingredients.
This is because the new technique maintains the Polymorph V content, the substance in the crystal structure of the fat which gives chocolate its glossy appearance, firm and snappy texture but which also allows it to melt smoothly in the mouth, according to a university press release.
The process also prevents “sugar bloom,” which occurs when sugar in the chocolate absorbs moisture, often a result of improper storage.
The final product did taste fruity — but there is the option to use water and a small amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) instead of juice to maintain a chocolatey taste.
Stefan Bon, from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, was lead author on the study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.
“Our study is just the starting point to healthier chocolate,” he says. “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.”
The study, entitled 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.