Almost everyone loves chocolate. Unfortunately, it is one of the food flavors or substance most implicated as a cause of obesity or even diabetes.
Lucky for chocolate lovers round the world, scientists have finally cracked the method for producing low fat chocolate.
Researchers in America have managed to reduce the fat content in Mars bars by up to 10 percent. They managed this incredible feat by firing electricity through the liquid chocolate during the production process, a method known as electrorheology.
The researchers from University of Philadelphia say that their method of electrorheology successfully altered the micro-structure of chocolate to create a version both healthier and tastier than the full-fat staple.
They submitted their findings to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal and there they described how they applied an electric field along the direction of flow of liquid chocolate, causing solid cocoa particles to clump together in streamlined chains.
This solves the problem that the industry has been struggling with for years, where former attempts to produce low fat chocolate had been largely stalled because reducing the fat content increased viscosity of the liquid and clogged up production pipelines.
The researchers considering however that particle shape influences intrinsic viscosity, predicted that the clumping would break the particles’ rotational symmetry and reduce both the viscosity and the minimum amount of melted fat required to maintain proper texture and flow within the pipeline.
They managed to reduce the viscosity of a sample of Mars chocolate by 43.5 percent, enabling a reduction in fat content of more than 10 percent. They also successfully achieved similar results with chocolates from other manufacturers, suggesting the method of making low fat chocolate could be widely applicable.
This is a very important breakthrough considering children are the leading chocolate consumers and effects of too much sugar or fat consumption could catch up to them as they grow older.