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Last updated at 16:51 BST, Monday, 15 April 2013

Healthy chocolate

Summary

12 April 2013

Scientists from the University of Warwick in the UK have revealed a new method to cut the amount of fat in chocolate in half while keeping all the taste.

Reporter:

Jason Palmer

Chocolate

All the chocolate taste with only half the fat.

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Report

Here's the problem with chocolate - what makes it velvety and smooth in the mouth is exactly what ends up elsewhere - fat.

Low-fat versions disappoint because it's difficult to replace the tiny globules of fat with anything else that disperses within the chocolate and maintains its texture.

The trick, it seems, is to use agar - a widely available gelling agent. Thoroughly blended bits of it, the researchers say, act as tiny sponges that soak up any liquid - fruit juice, plain water, even alcohol.

Stefan Bon, who led the research, said that the method opens up whole new markets for chocolate, and that additives such as fruit juice could further increase chocolate's health credentials.

Stefan Bon:
"It would both lower fat content and sugar content, so for people that just have a craving and just want to down a bar of 200g, you take half the amount of fat in, so it's great."

But for the less health-conscious, students in the group have made a chocolate bar containing four shots of vodka.

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Vocabulary

velvety

smooth and soft like the the material velvet

globules

small balls of liquid

disperses

spreads out across a large area

agar

a thick, clear substance like jelly made from seaweed

gelling agent

a substance that helps things become firm

sponges

soft substances full of small holes which take in water, often used for cleaning

additives

substances added to a food or drink to improve taste or appearance, or to keep it fresh for longer

credentials

here: qualities which make chocolate healthier

craving

strong desire for something

health-conscious

(people who are) aware and concerned about their health

shots

small measures of alcoholic drinks, especially spirits like whisky or vodka