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article imageLower fat chocolate? Now possible thanks to U.S. researchers

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 21, 2016 in Food
Anybody out there like chocolate at all? Anybody maybe LOVE chocolate? In case anybody does and worries its fat content is a trifle high, some physicists have come to the rescue by inventing a way to make chocolate with a lower-fat content.
Lower fat chocolate
From Temple University in Philadelphia, this is what these physicists have done: they've used an electric field (electric field? to make chocolate?) to find a way to keep the chocolate liquid while being made (which it must be during production).
With this method they say they can produce chocolate with a fat content of 32 percent. Up until now it had to be produced with a level of at least 40 percent fat to keep it liquid.
Their method of reducing the fat content of chocolate is not something that rolls off the tongue, or computer keyboard, but for those who wish to know the details of what they did we'll turn to Vlad Slavov, a tech writer for The Verge. Here's what Slavov wrote about the new method to reduce the fat content in chocolate:
The Temple researchers found...that an electric field applied in the flow direction of a liquid stream of chocolate helped to reduce its viscosity along that direction. Because this field polarizes the cocoa particles, they were able to essentially reorient and aggregate the particles inside the chocolate, turning them into short chains that flow more easily. The liquid's viscosity was made anisotropic, which is to say that it was reduced only in the flow direction, the one that matters.
A less viscous chocolate mixture means a lower minimum required fat content, and the Temple team claim their approach can reduce that figure from 40 percent down to 32 percent.
Yeah, what he said.
Chocolatey taste
Now these researchers acknowledge a good percentage of fat in chocolate is cocoa butter, and there are health benefits to cocoa butter. But still, consuming a lot of fat isn't such a good idea, they say.
Another benefit to this method of production is that any manufacturers of chocolate using it will henceforth be able to replace that eliminated 8 percent of chocolate fat content (remember, from 40 to 32 percent fat content) with something that is healthy.
There's no word yet on how chocolate with a lower fat content would taste or when/if a chocolate manufacturer will begin producing lower-fat chocolate.
The study was published in 'Proceedings,' the journal of the National Academy of Sciences.
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