Replacing Chocolate Fat with Fruit Juice
Chocolate is believed to possess health properties, and studies have shown that cocoa and dark chocolate may support cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. However, consumption of large amounts of an energy-rich food such as chocolate increases the risk of obesity. Raw chocolate is rich in cocoa butter, a fat removed during chocolate refining, then added back in varying proportions during manufacturing. Manufacturers may also add other fats, sugars, and milk, all of which can increase the caloric content of chocolate.
Chemists at the University of Warwick in England report that they have found a new concoction where half of the fat in chocolate is replaced with microscopic droplets of fruit juice. According to the report published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, the new product tastes somewhat fruity but retains most of the desired qualities of chocolate.
Stefan Bon, lead author of the study, and colleagues reduced the cocoa butter and milk fat content normally found in chocolate bars and substituted these with droplets of orange and cranberry juice that are less than 30 microns in diameter. They infused the juice droplets into milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate using Pickering emulsion, which prevents the merging of microscopic droplets into larger drops. To maintain the quality of chocolate, the crystalline structure of the remaining fat was preserved to retain the silky smooth texture that makes chocolate melt in the mouth. To make the product taste less fruity, they substituted a small amount of water and ascorbic acid for fruit juice.
The scientist hopes that the food industry will accept their method to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars, which will wind up in grocery shelves.
Morin, M. Scientists slim down chocolate with fruit juice. LATimes.