Good news for chocolate lovers! Scientists have discovered an innovative way to slim down the calorie contents of your favorite chocolate bars by substituting 50 percent of the fat with fruit juice. Finally, some healthy developments surrounding dessert.
As reported by the Times of India, chemists at the University of Warwick found a way to remove much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that most chocolate bars are laden with, and replace it with “tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.”
The science behind this makeover, which was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, requires a new technique that maintains the Polymorph V content of the chocolate. Polymorph V is the substance in fat’s crystal structure that gives chocolate it’s glossy appearance and firm texture, and makes it melt slowly and smoothly in your mouth.
Scientists were able to replace the fat with an infusion of orange and cranberry juice, milk, and dark and white chocolate by using a method known as Pickering emulsion. This emulsion not only prevents the small droplets from merging together, but will also help prevent the ‘sugar bloom’ that appears on chocolate that’s gone a little past its shelf life.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Stefan Bon from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick, pointed out that for people who love chocolate, there’s always the drawback that many chocolate bars are high in fat. But this new emulsion method may be wiping the guilt away from our daily chocolate indulgence.
“We’ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ‘chocolatey’ but with fruit juice instead of fat,” he said. “Our study is just the starting point to healthier chocolate – we’ve established a 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 actual reduction in fat and calories has not yet been reported as this delicious science has only been public knowledge for a short time. But we predict that popular chocolate manufactures will be testing out this production method in their facilities soon to see what kind of delicious – and healthy – chocolate concoctions they can come up with. I, for one, can’t wait to see what ends up in the candy aisle as a result.
August 14th, 2012