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.
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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.
"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.
Click here to hear the vocabulary
smooth and soft like the the material velvet
small balls of liquid
spreads out across a large area
a thick, clear substance like jelly made from seaweed
- gelling agent
a substance that helps things become firm
soft substances full of small holes which take in water, often used for cleaning
substances added to a food or drink to improve taste or appearance, or to keep it fresh for longer
here: qualities which make chocolate healthier
strong desire for something
(people who are) aware and concerned about their health
small measures of alcoholic drinks, especially spirits like whisky or vodka