12 January - 20 June 2016

Reducing the fat content of chocolate

10 April 13

A study presented by Stefan Bon from the University of Warwick at the American Chemical Society (ACS) meeting in New Orleans and originally documented last August in the Journal of Materials Chemistry has shown how adding fruit juice to chocolate could reduce the fat content by 50%.    The scientists replaced the cocoa butter and milk fats in the chocolate with fruit juice in the form of emulsion droplets measuring fewer than 30 microns in diameter, using a quiescent Pickering emulsion fabrication strategy.  The technique also required the addition of fumed silica particles and chitosan.  Adsorption of the polycationic chitosan molecules onto the surface of the silica particles influenced the particle wettability making it an effective Pickering stabiliser.  This solution required that the liquid be slightly acidic, so the team used fruit juices.  Bon is quoted by Science Daily as saying: "Fruit-juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionery. 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.”   The scientists found that this method retains the chocolate’s mouthfeel and still gave the chocolate its glossy appearance, firm and snappy texture but allowed it to melt smoothly in the mouth.  Chemistry World reports that the scientists have also created a chocolate that is 20% vodka.  Bon is quoted in the Telegraph as saying “One question we were asked by many people is: can you infuse chocolate with alcoholic beverages? Unfortunately the system designed with fumed silica and chitosan was not able to do this. We therefore developed an alternative method that makes use of microscopic Agar jellies.” The vodka is encapsulated in an agar gel to create a sponge.  Small balls of gel were added to the chocolate which displaced the fat without changing the mouthfeel and texture.

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