It may not make chocolate one of your five a day –- but scientists have found a way to replace up to 50% of its fat content with fruit juice.
As part of research into reducing fat in chocolate, chemistry researchers from the University of Warwick substituted much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate with tiny droplets of juice.
According to a statement: "We infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using what is known as a Pickering emulsion."
Crucially, say the researchers, the clever chemistry does not take away the chocolatey ‘mouth-feel’ given by the fatty ingredients.
Dr Stefan Bon, lead author on the study, said in a statement: "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.
“We’re hoping the food industry will take our method to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars.”
Did you know these 'bad' foods are actually good for you?
Bad rep: Coffee is bad for you because it increase blood pressure. Good news: If you can't make it through the day without your daily caffeine hit, here's some good news for you - drinking two to four cups of coffee a day could significantly reduce your risk of a stroke. The study discovered that people who drank two cups of coffee a day, reduced their risk of a stroke by 14%. Furthermore, big coffee drinkers, who downed up to four cups a day, were 17% less likely to suffer from a stroke or blood clots.
Bad rep: Bread is full of salt, sugar and bad carbohydrates, causing weight gain and soaring sugar levels. Good news: Swapping white bread with wholemeal, brown bread can increase fibre intake and contain complex carbohydrates, which boost energy levels.
Bad rep: Full of sugary fats and packed with caffeine Good news: No, you're not halloucinating - chocolate can be good for your health! A recent study by Wayne State University found that those who would rather eat chocolate than exercise can take heart from new research that suggests one is as good as the other. Scientists found that small amounts of dark chocolate may improve health in a similar way to exercise. How? Epicatechin, a plant compound in chocolate, appeared to stimulate the same muscle response as vigorous activity.
Bad rep: Increase cholesterol levels. Good news: Yes, egg yolks contain cholesterol, but they're also packed full of protein and are also good sources of choline, which has been linked with preserving memory, and lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect against vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.
Bad rep: Full of saturated fat and salt. Good news: Peanut butter is loaded with 'good' fats, protein, vitamin E, niacin, folic acid, and magnesium.
Bad rep: Full of sugar and bad for your liver and waistline. Good news: An ingredient in red wine can stop breast cancer cells growing and may combat resistant forms of the disease, research suggests. Resveratrol, a plant chemical found in grapes and red wine, blocks the cancer-fuelling effects of the female hormone oestrogen, studies have shown. It can also inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells that have become hormone resistant, say scientists.
So how does it work?
The new technique maintains the substance in the crystal structure of the fat and while the final product will taste fruity, there is the option to use water and a small amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) instead of juice to maintain a chocolatey taste.
The new process also prevents the unsightly ‘sugar bloom’ which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.
The study is published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.