Dr. Stefan Bon’s “Super Chocolate” (Credit: University of Warwick)
Scientists from the University of Warwick in the U.K. have found a way to replace up to 50% of the fat content of chocolate with fruit juice. No less important – according to the scientists – the new reduced fat chocolate does not lose its “chocolatey” taste which is normally given to it by its fatty ingredients.
The new “Super Chocolate” developed by Dr. Stefan Bon from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick and his team, keeps the chocolate unique flavor by preserving the Polymorph V content which exist in regular chocolate. Polymorph V is a special substance with a crystal structure that has both a snappy texture but also allows chocolate to melt in the mouth.
The “Super Chocolate” produced in Dr. Stefan Bon’s lab actually has a fruity taste since the researcher and his team removed much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that typically go into chocolate and replaced them with small droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter. Interestingly, for those who prefer the original chocolatey taste there will be an option to use water and a small amount of vitamin C instead of juice to maintain a original taste of chocolate.
According to Dr. Bon: “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 fruit juice instead of fat”. This is actually just the starting point or as Dr. Bon puts it: “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”.
Bon and his team used different ingredients to create a Pickering emulsion, which prevents the small juice droplets from merging with each other and sinking to the bottom. Another advantage of the new process is that it prevents what is known as “Chocolate bloom” – a moldy-looking white coating that can appear on the surface of chocolate which has been stored for too long.
More information on the new “Super Chocolate” can be found on the Warwick university website