Photo: University of Warwick
In an effort to make a ‘healthy chocolate’ researchers were able to replace about half the fat of the bars with micro-bubbles of juice.These tiny bubbles, created using a “Pickering emulsion” synthesis, ensure that the chocolate still has that chocolaty “mouth-feel” we crave — the firm and snappy texture that melts in your mouth.
“Everyone loves chocolate – but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat,” study researcher Stefan Bon said in a statement from the University of Warwick. “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.”
The process involves the mixing of two liquids that don’t usually mix, like water and oil. This combination, which would usually separate out into two layers, is held in a mixed state by solid particles in the mix.
The fruit juice gives the chocolate (either white, milk or dark) a slightly fruity taste, but the researchers said they are also able to use a vitamin C solution (ascorbic acid) instead of the juice, which would remove the fruity taste.
“We’ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ‘chocolatey’ but with fruit juice instead of fat,” Bon said. “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.”
The process also prevents the whitening effect that happens to chocolate that’s been sitting around too long, which FYI is called a “sugar bloom.”
The study was published August 8 in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.
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