Dieters Pay Attention: Healthy Chocolate Fat Problem Solved

2013-04-08 10:30
Healthy Chocolate FAt Problem Solved

It’s possibly the greatest invention since the discovery that chocolate and peanut butter go well together - fruit infused chocolate. Researchers report that fruit-infused chocolate is healthier, tastes great and contains up to 50% less fat than conventional chocolate snacks.

At the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society that continues through this Thursday, researchers report that they have solved a problem with chocolate that has been the bane of dieters for decades - fat content that is prohibitively high for weight conscious dieters.

According to a press release by the American Chemical Society, lead researcher Stefan A. F. Bon, Ph.D., from the University of Warwick presents data that shows that he and fellow researchers have found a way to infuse chocolate with such food products as fruit juice, Vitamin C water and diet colas.

“We have established the chemistry that’s a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionary,” Bon said. "This approach maintains the things that make chocolate 'chocolatey', but with fruit juice instead of fat. Now we're hoping the food industry will take the next steps and use the technology to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars and other candy.”

Part of the problem of combining many food items such as fruit juice and chocolate is that each may have properties that naturally prevent them from forming into an emulsion that will not eventually separate into its individual components after packaging or bottling. One example the researchers provide is the use of emulsifiers by the food industry to get the oil and eggs in mayonnaise to combine in a cohesive state that remains stable and allows an even spread over bread in a sandwich. Bon and his colleagues have cleared this hurdle using solid particles rather than an emulsifier to successfully combine chocolate with other ingredients.

Another problem has to do with taste. If the characteristic sensations of melting chocolate in the mouth are lost or overpowered by added ingredients, the chocolate snack becomes less palatable. Furthermore, fat content in many chocolate products are notoriously high where a 2-ounce serving of premium dark chocolate may contain as much as 13 grams of fat, which is 20% of the recommended total daily fat.

“Fruit-juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionary,” says Bon. “Since the juice is spread out in the chocolate, it doesn’t overpower the taste of the chocolate. We believe that the technology adds an interesting twist to the range of chocolate confectionary products available. The opportunity to replace part of the fat matrix with water-based juice droplets allows for greater flexibility and tailoring of both the overall fat and sugar content.”

Thus far, Bon and his colleagues have reportedly managed to infuse chocolate with with apple, orange and cranberry juice that combines the added benefits of antioxidants and flavonoids of dark chocolate with the relatively healthier sugar fructose and assorted vitamins from the fruit. The significance is that not only will it give chocolate connoisseurs something new for the palate, but will also provide dieters with a healthy low-fat chocolate snack alternative.

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: American Chemical Society press release “Ready for debut: Fruit-juice-infused chocolate with 50 percent less fat”

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