Is it possible to take the fat out of chocolate? Yes, says a team of researchers from the Temple University.
The study was led by Rongjia Tao, who along with his colleagues have found a way to reduce the fat content of chocolates. The method is very simple. By using electricity, they have cut fat by 10 to 20 percent.
‘By running liquid milk chocolate through an electrified sieve, Temple University researchers have reduced the amount of fat by 20 percent, paving the way for a healthier version of chocolates.’
The main ingredient in chocolate is cocoa solids. In liquid chocolate, cocoa butter is added to keep these solids free flowing. Cocoa solids are circular, suspended in the fat and oil from the cocoa butter and is responsible for the higher fat content of chocolates.
Therefore, researchers ran the liquid chocolate with cocoa solids through an electrified sieve, which flattened the cocoa solids and made them behave like little bar magnets that line themselves up in a chain-like formation. This arrangement provided more space for the chocolate to flow freely without the need to add more cocoa butter.
"Here we show that, by applying an electric field to liquid chocolate in the flow direction, we aggregate the suspended particles into prolate spheroids. This microstructure change reduces the viscosity in the flow direction and enables us to reduce the fat level by 10 to 20 percent," wrote the researchers.
Though this process can make chocolates healthier, some experts say that without cocoa butter, chocolates can be more powdery and brittle.