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Now chocolate can be one of your five-a-day: Scientists create bars without the fat that are made from fruit juice
Apple, orange and cranberry juice droplets replace half the fat content in the chocolateBars have the same velvety feel as normal bars but a fruity taste, University of Warwick researchers say
18:17 GMT, 7 April 2013
07:08 GMT, 8 April 2013
Struggling to get the kids to eat their five-a-day Scientists may well have invented a novel solution that will certainly provide a small boost to their intake – chocolate made with fruit juice.
And it is better for their waistline too, as the tiny droplets of juice – apple, orange and cranberry – are used to replace up to half of the bar's fat content.
The technique works with all types of chocolate, dark, milk, and white, but does give the final product a fruity flavour, the researchers have admitted.
Fruity flavour: Scientists have developed chocolate bars with half the fat that count as one of your five a day – because they have fruit juice droplets
But there is the option to use a mixture of water and vitamin C instead of fruit juice in a bid to maintain a more chocolatey taste.
The technique, developed by a team at the University of Warwick, substitute the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into conventional bars with liquid in the form of micro-bubbles.
This helps the chocolate retain a velvety 'mouth-feel' – firm and snappy to the bite and yet melt in the mouth.
Speaking about the technique at national meeting of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans, lead researcher Dr Stefan Bon said: 'We have established the chemistry that's a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionary.
'This approach maintains the things that make chocolate “chocolatey”, but with fruit juice instead of fat.
Now we're hoping the food industry will take the next steps and use the technology to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars and other candy.'
He added: '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.'
The process also prevents the unappetizing white film that coats the surface of chocolate that has been on the shelf for a while.
A two-ounce (57g) serving of premium dark chocolate may contain up to 13g of fat, around 20 per cent of the an individual's daily fat intake, with much being the unhealthier saturated variety.
But although high in fat and sugar, chocolate does have high levels of healthful plant-based substances known as antioxidants or flavonoids.
And substituting fruit juice could also reduce the overall sugar content of the confectionary.
The team used fruit juices and other food-approved ingredients to form a Pickering emulsion – a method which prevents the small droplets from merging with each other.
Dr Bon said: '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.'