NEW ORLEANS, April 7, 2013 Already renowned as a healthy treat when enjoyed in moderation, chocolate could become even more salubrious if manufacturers embraced new technology for making "fruit-juice-infused chocolate," a scientist said here today. The presentation was part of the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, which continues through Thursday.
Stefan A. F. Bon, Ph.D., who led the research, explained that the technology would allow manufacture of chocolate with fruit juice, vitamin C water or diet cola replacing up to 50 percent of the fat. The juice is in the form of micro-bubbles that help chocolate retain the lush, velvety "mouth-feel" the texture that is firm and snappy to the bite and yet melts in the mouth. The process also prevents "sugar bloom," the unappetizing white film that coats the surface of chocolate that has been on the shelf for a while.
"We have established the chemistry that's a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionary," Bon said. "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."
Chocolate's high fat and sugar content is a downside, compared to its high levels of healthful plant-based substances termed antioxidants or flavonoids, Bon explained. A 2-ounce serving of premium dark chocolate may contain 13 grams of fat ― 20 percent of the total daily fat recommended for a person who eats 2,000 calories per day. Much of that fat is the unhealthy saturated variety. Substituting fruit juice or cola also reduces the overall sugar content of the candy.
The technology works with dark, milk and white chocolate. Bon's team at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom has made chocolate infused with apple, orange and cr
|Contact: Michael Bernstein
504-670-4707 (New Orleans Press Center, April 5-10)