Sweet! Electrical trick may lead to less fat in chocolate

Sweet! Electrical trick may lead to less fat in chocolate
This photo shows chocolate in New York, Monday, June 20, 2016. New research suggests candy companies may be able to make lower fat versions of chocolate with a little electrical trick. The new approach was described Monday by researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Stephanie Nano)

Get a charge out of chocolate? New research suggests candy companies may be able to make lower fat versions of the tasty treat with a little electrical trick.

By running liquid through an electric field, researchers were able to make it flow more easily. And that means it doesn't need so much fat, they say.

Cutting the fat in chocolate has been a much-studied challenge in the industry. The new approach was described Monday by researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia.

During production, chocolate is handled as a liquid that includes solids like cocoa suspended in melted fat and oil, they noted in a paper released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A certain level of fat is needed to let the chocolate flow easily enough to be processed, they said. But they found an electric field can encourage flow too.

Using that strategy, they were able to reduce the amount of by about 10 percent, said researcher Rongjia Tao. In theory, they could reduce it by twice that much, he said.

The makes the tiny balls of cocoa solids clump together into chains, which allows easier flow.

The work was partially financed by the Mars chocolate company, and Temple holds patents on the technique.

Tao said he could taste no difference in chocolate treated with his method, but that some others in his lab said it tasted better.

Mary Ellen Camire, professor of food science and human nutrition at the University of Maine in Orono, who was not involved in the project, said the paper left some important questions unanswered.

There was no scientific evaluation of how the treatment affects taste and texture, she said. Nor did the researchers test whether the treated chocolate would remain appealing after time in storage, she said.


Explore further

Creating a reduced-fat chocolate that melts in your mouth

More information: Electrorheology leads to healthier and tastier chocolate, PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1605416113

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Jun 20, 2016
Sweet! Electrical trick may lead to less fat in chocolate


Why would you ruin what is good in life?

Jun 20, 2016
Don't have a link, but read of a discovery some years back that after a current is passed through melted chocolate, it remains in the liquid state.. apparently.

Jun 21, 2016
I can see it now:

"Lose weight by eating chocolate, using this weird trick."

Jun 21, 2016
The whole low fat diet scam is counter productive. If you eat less fat then you have to get your calories elsewhere. With 90% of the people the needed calories are obtained by eating bread, pasta, potatoes and rice. All of these make blood sugar levels swing wildly and create hunger cravings and weight gain.

Jun 21, 2016
On a high fat low carb diet the hunger cravings go away and you lose weight. You can't exercise excess calories away since your body burns only 100 calories or so when you run 1 mile.

Jun 25, 2016
Fat is healthy, especially the fats found in chocolate. Get off the fad train losers!

Jun 29, 2016
American chocolate is already the worst in the world, like wax. This could make it even worse.

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