Would You Eat It? New Healthy Chocolate Trades Fat for Fruit Juice

Researchers claim droplets of fruit juice can replace fat for a healthier chocolate bar.

Researchers say they've created low-fat chocolate using fruit juice. (Photo: Adam Gault/Getty Images)
Jason Best has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

So here’s a thought experiment: If chocolate is practically synonymous with indulgence, what happens when one of the all-time most popular guilty pleasures becomes, well, less guilty? Are you still left with pleasure?

A few months back, health researchers were baffled when they discovered that, on average, people who eat chocolate regularly (albeit in moderation) tend to have a lower body mass index than people who don’t. Now scientists in the U.K. have announced the creation of what has no doubt long been considered one of the biggest oxymorons in food: low-fat chocolate.

How’d they do it? They replaced upwards of 50 percent of the fat content in chocolate with microscopic droplets of fruit juice that are less than 30 microns in diameter, according to The Daily Mail.

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Again, how’d they do it? Beats us. This isn’t the sort of recipe you’re going to whip up in the kitchen. After all, the study was published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, and the process described as “quiescent Pickering emulsion fabrication strategy.”

But the study’s lead author, Dr. Stefan Bon from the chemistry department at the University of Warwick, put a more P.R.-friendly spin on his work for The Daily Mail: “Everyone loves chocolate—but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat. However, it’s the fat the 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 in your hand. We’ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ‘chocolatey” but with fruit juice instead of fat.”

If that all sounds too good to be true (especially to those of us who still harbor childhood fantasies of broccoli that tastes like Skittles), then it may very well be. We didn’t get the chance to taste Dr. Bon’s newfangled guiltless pleasure, but because it’s made with a mix of orange and cranberry juice, it reportedly tastes...fruity.

There’s also the option of taking the fruit juice out and replacing it with vitamin C and plain old water, which means we can’t wait to see what name the marketing geniuses come up with for “Dr. Bon’s Lab-Created Low-Fat Water Chocolate.”

Any suggestions?

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