Published April 09, 2013
Scientists have found a way to halve the fat content of chocolate without compromising the treat's silky texture.
New technology allows manufacturers to replace up to 50 percent of the fat with fruit juice, vitamin C, water or diet cola.
Stefan A. F. Bon, from the University of Warwick, 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."
He said the juice is in the form of micro-bubbles - helping the chocolate to retain the velvety mouth-feel.
This process also prevents "sugar bloom," the white film that coats the surface of chocolate that has been on the shelf for a while.
A gelling agent called agar makes tiny "sponges" that displace fat.
The technology works with dark, milk and white chocolate, Dr Bon says.
His team at the University of Warwick has made chocolate infused with apple, orange and cranberry juice.
"Fruit juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionary," he said.
"Since the juice is spread out in the chocolate, it doesn't overpower the taste of the chocolate."
Dr Bon unveiled his research at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.