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.