It is great news for anyone with a sweet tooth – chocolate with fruit juice instead of fat has been developed. The healthy alternative replaces up to 50 per cent of chocolate’s fat content with fruit juice. University of Warwick chemists claim the new bar will still appeal to chocaholics, after spending months perfecting its ‘mouthfeel’ – and say it even feels like chocolate.
Dr 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 Dr Bon 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 ‘chocolatey’ but with fruit juice instead of fat. 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 researchers took out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter. They infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using what is known as a Pickering emulsion.
However, they admit there is a tradeoff. The final product will taste fruity, the team admitted – 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.
The team now plan to let the food industry use the technique to create the healthy bars.