'Fruit-juice-infused chocolate' less fat

April 8, 2013 at 7:31 PM

NEW ORLEANS, April 8 (UPI) -- A new process produces "fruit-juice-infused chocolate," which retains the lush, velvety "mouth-feel" of chocolate but less fat and sugar, British chemists say.

Study leader Stefan A. F. Bon of the University of Warwick said the technology would allow the manufacture of chocolate with fruit juice, vitamin C water or diet cola that would replace up to 50 percent of the fat.

The juice is in the form of micro-bubbles that help chocolate retain a lush texture that is firm and snappy to the bite and yet melts in the mouth, Bon said. And all with less sugar.

"We have established the chemistry that's a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionery," Bon said in a statement.

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 this fat is the unhealthy saturated variety, Bon said.

Bon's team used fruit juices and other food-approved ingredients such as apple, orange and cranberry juice to form a Pickering emulsion, named for British chemist Percival Spencer Umfreville Pickering.

In 1907, Pickering discovered a new way to stabilize emulsions -- combinations of liquids like the egg yolk and oil in mayonnaise that normally would not mix together.

The Warwick researchers ' findings were presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans.

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