Researchers said they were able to make chocolate healthier by replacing up to 50 percent of its fat content with fruit juice.
Scientists are close to removing the guilt from chocolate while keeping the pleasure.
At a meeting of the American Chemical Society, researchers described a method of swapping some of the fat content of chocolate with liquids. That could replace up to half the fat in chocolate with something healthier, according to the report at the ACS meeting.
"We have established the chemistry that's a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionary," lead researcher Stefan Bon said. "This approach maintains the things that make chocolate 'chocolatey,' but with fruit juice instead of fat."
According to the presentation, Bon and his team infused fruit juice in the form of micro-bubbles. These tiny bubbles were able to replace the fat without undoing the velvety "mouth-feel" that chocolate lovers crave.
The technique could be used with fruit juice, water, diet cola or even alcohol, though alcohol-infused chocolate may not make for the healthiest substitute.
Chocolate already has some upsides as a snack. It contains high levels of antioxidants, a healthy plant-based substance.
However, chocolate is also high in fat. ACS said 2 ounces of dark chocolate can have as much as 20 percent of your recommended daily fat intake. And a lot of that fat is extra-unhealthy saturated fat.
But Bon sees hope for snackers in fruit-juice infused chocolate.
"Fruit-juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionary," he said. "Now we're hoping the food industry will take the next steps and use the technology to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars and other candy."
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