Fruity Science Halves Fat in Chocolate

ScienceDaily (Aug. 13, 2012) — It may not make chocolate one of your five a day — but scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of its fat content with fruit juice.

Dr Stefan Bon has found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of chocolate. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Warwick)

 

University of Warwick chemists have taken out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.

They infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using what is known as a Pickering emulsion.

Crucially, the clever chemistry does not take away the chocolatey ‘mouth-feel’ given by the fatty ingredients.

This is because the new technique maintains the prized Polymorph V content, the substance in the crystal structure of the fat which gives chocolate its glossy appearance, firm and snappy texture but which also allows it to melt smoothly in the mouth.

The final product will taste fruity — but there is the option to use water and a small amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) instead of juice to maintain a chocolatey taste.

Dr Stefan Bon from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick was lead author on the study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

He said the research looked at the chemistry behind reducing fat in chocolate, but now it was up to the food industry to use this new technique to develop tasty ways to use it in chocolate.

Dr Bon said: “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.

“We’ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ‘chocolatey’ but with fruit juice instead of fat.

“Our study is just the starting point to healthier chocolate — we’ve established the chemistry behind this new technique but now we’re hoping the food industry will take our method to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars.”

The scientists used food-approved ingredients to create a Pickering emulsion, which prevents the small droplets from merging with each other.

Moreover, their chocolate formulations in the molten state showed a yield stress which meant that they could prevent the droplets from sinking to the bottom.

The new process also prevents the unsightly ‘sugar bloom’ which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.

 


Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided byUniversity of Warwick.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas S. Skelhon, Nadia Grossiord, Adam R. Morgan, Stefan A. F. Bon. Quiescent Water-in-Oil Pickering Emulsions as a Route toward Healthier Fruit Juice Infused Chocolate ConfectionaryJournal of Materials Chemistry, 2012; DOI: 10.1039/C2JM34233B
Citation:

University of Warwick (2012, August 13). Fruity science halves fat in chocolate. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 15, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120813074015.htm

How Does Fat Influence Flavor Perception?

ScienceDaily (July 19, 2012) — A joint study carried out by The University of Nottingham and the multinational food company Unilever has found for the first time that fat in food can reduce activity in several areas of the brain which are responsible for processing taste, aroma and reward.


The research, now available in the Springer journal Chemosensory Perception, provides the food industry with better understanding of how in the future it might be able to make healthier, less fatty food products without negatively affecting their overall taste and enjoyment. Unveiled in 2010, Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan sets out its ambition to help hundreds of millions of people improve their diet around the world within a decade.

This fascinating three-year study investigated how the brains of a group of participants in their 20s would respond to changes in the fat content of four different fruit emulsions they tasted while under an MRI scanner. All four samples were of the same thickness and sweetness, but one contained flavour with no fat, while the other three contained fat with different flavour release properties.

The research found that the areas of the participants’ brains which are responsible for the perception of flavour — such as the somatosensory cortices and the anterior, mid & posterior insula — were significantly more activated when the non-fatty sample was tested compared to the fatty emulsions despite having the same flavour perception. It is important to note that increased activation in these brain areas does not necessarily result in increased perception of flavour or reward.

Dr Joanne Hort, Associate Professor in Sensory Science at The University of Nottingham said: “This is the first brain study to assess the effect of fat on the processing of flavour perception and it raises questions as to why fat emulsions suppress the cortical response in brain areas linked to the processing of flavour and reward. It also remains to be determined what the implications of this suppressive effect are on feelings of hunger, satiety and reward.”

Unilever food scientist Johanneke Busch, based at the company’s Research & Development laboratories in Vlaardingen, Netherlands added: “There is more to people’s enjoyment of food than the product’s flavour — like its mouthfeel, its texture and whether it satisfies hunger, so this is a very important building block for us to better understand how to innovate and manufacture healthier food products which people want to buy.”

Nottingham University’s Sensory Science Centre, its Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre and the Nottingham Digestive Diseases Centre were all involved in the research.

The study was co-funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

 

Link:

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2012/july/new-research-questions-how-fat-influences-flavour-perception.aspx

Journal Reference:

  1. Sally Eldeghaidy, Tracey Hollowood, Luca Marciani, Kay Head, Johanneke Busch, Andrew J. Taylor, Tim J. Foster, Robin C. Spiller, Penny A. Gowland, Sue Francis, Joanne Hort. Does Fat Alter the Cortical Response to Flavor? Chemosensory Perception, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s12078-012-9130-z

Retreived:

University of Nottingham (2012, July 19). How does fat influence flavor perception?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2012, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2012/07/120719105034.htm