12 January - 20 June 2016

Giving milk chocolate the same beneficial properties as dark chocolate

Scientists are reporting in the Journal of Food Science that adding peanut skins extracts with maltodextrin extract to milk chocolate can increase the antioxidant properties of the chocolate above that of dark chocolate without increasing the bitter flavour.

Scientists are reporting in the Journal of Food Science that adding peanut skins extracts with maltodextrin extract to milk chocolate can increase the antioxidant properties of the chocolate above that of dark chocolate without increasing the bitter flavour.

Processing of peanuts generates large amounts of waste products, including a 100 million pounds of peanut skins.  Incorporating peanuts skins, high in phenolic compounds, into products has previously resulted in products with an undesirable mouth feel and rancid flavour due to the skins oil content.

In this current study, by Dean et al. the scientists encapsulated peanut skin extract with maltodextrin (maltodextrin concentration of 10.5% w/w).  Maltodextrin is used to reduce perceived bitterness, by preventing the bitter skin extract from dissolving into the saliva and stimulating the taste receptors.  It has also been found to increase stability and improve the physical properties of spray-dried polyphenols.  

The encapsulated peanut skin was added to melted chocolate at levels of 0.1%, 0.3%, 0.9%, 2.7% and 8.1% (w/w).  An additional batch was also produced for consumer testing at a concentration of 0.8% w/w.  The scientists analysed the peanut skin chocolate for antioxidant capacity using Trolox equivalency. 

Using a group of 80 participants Dean et al. determined the detection threshold of the encapsulated peanut skin extract in milk chocolate at the various concentrations.  They also carried out consumer testing, using 100 participants.  In this test, the subjects were provided with 2 milk chocolate samples, a dose milk chocolate sample containing 0.8% (w/w) encapsulated peanut skin extract and a control.  The participants were ask to rate the liking of the product, the liking of the texture and flavour, and were asked questions on chocolate flavour, sweetness, bitterness and creaminess of the products.

After performing numerous statistical analyses, the scientist report the best estimated threshold was 0.9% (w/w) inclusion of the encapsulated peanut skin extract, however 24% of participants were able to detect the encapsulated peanut skin at lower inclusion levels.   The consumer testing results found that consumers like the dosed chocolate product as much as the control milk chocolate and the encapsulated peanut skin did not negatively impact the texture of the chocolate product at the level used (0.8% (w/w)).  The dosed chocolate with 0.8 (w/w) of encapsulated peanut skin extract was found to contain Trolox equivalency of 31.4 µmol/g chocolate which is more than that of dark chocolate, reported to be 21 to 24 µmol TE/g. 

The researchers state in conclusion “encapsulated peanut skin extract as a chocolate extender would be an interesting avenue for future research.  The allergenic effects of the extracts would have to be thoroughly evaluated before inclusion in any foods and labelling would have to emphasise the addition of peanut products”.

RSSL's Product and Ingredient Innovation Team, has considerable experience in re-formulating products to provide more healthy options including low salt, low sugar versions and using pre- and probiotics.  Using RSSL can help speed up your development cycle considerably.  For more information please contact Customer Services on +44 (0) 118 918 4076 or email 

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