Fruity science halves fat in chocolate

Aug 13, 2012

Scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of chocolate's fat content with fruit juice.

University of Warwick chemists have taken out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into , substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.

They infused orange and into milk, dark and using what is known as a Pickering emulsion.

Crucially, the clever chemistry does not take away the chocolatey 'mouth-feel' given by the fatty ingredients.

This is because the new technique maintains the prized Polymorph V content, the substance in the of the fat which gives chocolate its glossy appearance, firm and snappy texture but which also allows it to melt smoothly in the mouth.

The final product will taste fruity - 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.

Dr Stefan Bon from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick was lead author on the study published in the .

He said the research looked at the chemistry behind reducing fat in chocolate, but now it was up to the food industry to use this new technique to develop tasty ways to use it in chocolate.

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 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 scientists used food-approved ingredients to create a Pickering , which prevents the small droplets from merging with each other.

Moreover, their chocolate formulations in the molten state showed a yield stress which meant that they could prevent the droplets from sinking to the bottom.

The new process also prevents the unsightly 'sugar bloom' which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.

Explore further: Microgel-based thermoresponsive membranes for water filtration

More information: The study, entitled Quiescent Water-in-Oil Pickering Emulsions as a Route toward Healthier Fruit Juice Infused Chocolate Confectionary was co-authored by Thomas Skelhon, Adam Morgan, and Nadia Grossiord at the University of Warwick. pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2012/JM/c2jm34233b

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JGHunter
5 / 5 (2) Aug 13, 2012
The new process also prevents the unsightly 'sugar bloom' which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.


This is probably one of the biggest incentives for industry. No doubt a lot of money has been lost around the world due to this happening, because people won't want to buy it, at the same time would cut down on waste of chocolate stored at home which doesn't get eaten quickly enough (though any household that likes chocolate enough to store it will likely only leave it that long because it was forgotten about).

I look forward to giving this chocolate a try.
antialias_physorg
4.8 / 5 (5) Aug 13, 2012
The water and ascorbic acid replacement sounds better than the fruit juice replacement.
Fruit juice contains a LOT of sugar - so relacing the fat with this may ot be as great as it seems from a caloric point of view.
SatanLover
2.7 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2012
good fat or bad fat? just saying "fat" doesnt tell anything? i am not a chocolate expert but i know this much
Satene
1.7 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2012
Emulsions utilizing silica as the sole emulsifying component... It's essentially about adding ultrafine water soaked sand into chocolate. I dunno, what I should think about it....
wiyosaya
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 13, 2012
Personally, I think there is far too much focus on fat as a "bad" element in our society.

In point of fact, fats are required to help metabolize nutrients.

With this process, what are the other effects? Are other, important nutrients removed for the sake of fat?
antialias_physorg
2.7 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2012
With this process, what are the other effects? Are other, important nutrients removed for the sake of fat?

I don't think that when we're talking about chocolate we're talking about a "source of important nutrients" - that would send entirely the wrong message.
NotParker
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 13, 2012
Chocolate is good for your heart in small amounts.
eric96
2 / 5 (4) Aug 13, 2012
@SatanLover

Chocolate is a nut and all nuts are just about the same; 50% fat (Good fat). Some nuts like almonds contain more good fat than others. Cacoa nibs (the nut) actually taste like medicine before its processed, and the fat is really where most of the flavor comes from. I don't quite understand the article, how can you replace 50% of the fat they use with water and absorbic acid without watering the taste down?
dogbert
2.9 / 5 (7) Aug 13, 2012
The obsession with replacing fat with carbohydrates is just wrong.

Diabetes is the scourge of the modern world and, with the exception of Type I diabetes, is linked with carbohydrate consumption.

This is not a good thing.
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 13, 2012
The obsession with replacing fat with carbohydrates is just wrong.

Eating tons of junk is wrong. Replacing a bit of fat in the occasional bit of choclate isn't going to kill anyone (especially in the white chocolate they talk about - which doesn't even have the good stuff that is in the chocolate nut).

But if you continually stuff your face you'll get diabetes - no matter whether it's corn syrup or fruit juice or natural chocolate.

Eat what you want - in moderation. Don't demonize foods when its our eating habits that are the problem. I'm sick and tired of people always finding fault with someone/something else.

Take responsibility for your own life dammit.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (6) Aug 13, 2012
I'm sick and tired of people always finding fault with someone/something else. Take responsibility for your own life dammit.


I do take responsibility for my own life. I don't, however, appreciate food companies which take healthy natural products and modify them so that they are no longer healthy. The biggest problem is not knowing that the product you have purchased has been modified.

kochevnik
2.6 / 5 (5) Aug 13, 2012
But if you continually stuff your face you'll get diabetes - no matter whether it's corn syrup or fruit juice or natural chocolate.
I doubt highly that pure chocolate and cocoa butter alone could cause onset diabetes. Diabetes is a disease of sugars. Sugar brings out the bad side of fats by promoting fat storage over metabolizing. On a sugar-free diet the body satiates much more quickly with fat, and carb cravings are replaced with genuine healthy appetite. Mixing carbs and fat can be lethal over a lifetime.
dschlink
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2012
Have to agree, replacing fats with sugars is an extremely bad idea. Fructose is converted to fat and immediately stored. How is this an improvement?
Shootist
2.7 / 5 (7) Aug 13, 2012
They should replace the fat in chocolate with lard.

Bacon: Is there nothing it cannot do?
Thrasymachus
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 13, 2012
@SatanLover

Chocolate is a nut and all nuts are just about the same; 50% fat (Good fat). Some nuts like almonds contain more good fat than others. Cacoa nibs (the nut) actually taste like medicine before its processed, and the fat is really where most of the flavor comes from. I don't quite understand the article, how can you replace 50% of the fat they use with water and absorbic acid without watering the taste down?


Because fat's too big of a molecule to "taste." That's why cats and babies like to chew on plastic bags. It's got a smooth texture, but no taste, so it "tastes like" fat. The molecules that make up fat and plastic are too big to fit into the chemical receptors in tastebuds. The actual flavor of chocolate comes from much smaller volatile organic compounds that are really smelled more than tasted anyway.
JGHunter
3 / 5 (2) Aug 14, 2012
@Thrasymachus


The molecules that make up fat and plastic are too big to fit into the chemical receptors in tastebuds.


So what do you make of this article:

http://www.telegr...ste.html

Specifically

The research team, from the school of medicine at Washington University, St Louis, showed that people with more of a receptor called CD36 were better at detecting the presence of fat in food.

They found that variations in a gene that produces CD36 makes people more or less sensitive to the presence of fat.


I'd be interested to know your input, and that of others, on this.
antialias_physorg
3.5 / 5 (4) Aug 14, 2012
which take healthy natural products and modify them so that they are no longer healthy.

White chocolate never was and never will be a healthy food choice.
Chocolate bars were never a health food to begin with.
The fat in chocolate bars was never the stuff that promoted health.

If you think adding chocolate to a healthy diet makes it more healthy you're out of your mind.

The biggest problem is not knowing that the product you have purchased has been modified.

That's what the list of contents are there for.
Thrasymachus
3 / 5 (2) Aug 14, 2012
My take is that that's a badly written article. "Umami" is the taste of L-glutamate amino acids and nucleotides. There has been some research done on whether humans and rodents can "taste" fat, and some of that research supports the hypothesis, but it's far from conclusive at this point. The study in question attempted to rule out "smell" by having the people (or rodents) plug their noses while giving them some fat to taste, and then testing blood serum for chemical changes. Plugging noses is insufficient for eliminating smell, as a significant portion of odor can get up your nose from the back of your throat. Moreover, testing serum changes seems an odd way to me for confirming a positive "taste." I'd rather an EEG be used to see if the appropriate brain regions fire. Better would be identifying the receptor that's responsible for firing off the "taste" sensation. In any event, if fat can be tasted, it would be a 6th taste, and involve a mechanism wholly unlike the other 5.
JGHunter
not rated yet Aug 15, 2012
Interesting, thanks. Yeah it did surprise me that they didn't think scent would not get to the olfactory receptors through the back of the throat, and testing blood wouldn't have been my first choice over a scan.
wwqq
5 / 5 (2) Aug 19, 2012
White chocolate never was and never will be a healthy food choice.


Cocoa butter is about a 1/3 stearic acid, 1/3 oleic acid and 1/4 palmitic acid. That's perfectly fine fat profile. The cocoa solids are health food.

If you don't add sugar, hydrogenated fats, milk fats and other junk to chocolate it's perfectly fine.
Mike_Massen
1 / 5 (2) Sep 22, 2012
With a healthy intake of Copper (provided you dont have Wilson's disease) then many of the copper based enzymes handle fats rather well. There are many peer reviewed journal articles on the issue of low copper levels in average western diets. Eskimos manage high fat intakes from seals etc rather well, the minerals in the fats are immensely important in line with cultural adaptation, similar issues apply to South American amazonian natives etc...

Some populist stuff here and as always, wikipedia is a good start but, always check the references...

http://en.wikiped...n_health

The issue in the above link re the fetus grabbing copper from the mother is intriguing to say the least.

Would have been thoughtful, nice and have saved immense human suffering for millenia if gods, aliens or any prior helpful entities had advised us of just what constitutes a well balanced diet *and* one that is completely functional at all stages of human life... bit of a 'no brainer' that !

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