It’s a beautiful, victorious day for all of us with a sweet tooth. Every diet rules out any possibility of enjoying the deliciousness of chocolate, but maybe this will help.
Scientists have made a breakthrough in making this particular dessert a bit less fattening, so it counts less on your calorie limit. Usually, low-fat anything sounds pretty unappetizing, but researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia swear by their product.
Physicists have played around with the fat content of a chocolate bar and have succeeded in lowering it by more than 10 percent; they had tested their method on Mars bars, and the results were impressive.
Their technique involves applying electricity through chocolate while in a liquid state during the production process. Previous (unsuccessful) attempts to reduce the fat content of chocolate have failed mostly due to the fact that it increased the viscosity of the product, which led to clogged production pipelines.
Current methods used by major chocolate companies result in as much as 40 percent of fat content; the fault is mainly with the requirement of keeping the chocolate liquid during the production stages.
However, the new technique developed by the university researchers discovered that the fat content (and, implicitly, the viscosity) can be reduced by shooting a continuous flow of electricity in the liquid chocolate to prevent clogging.
This electric field causes the cocoa particles to bind shorter chains, which helps in keeping the chocolate stream flowing. Called electrorheology, this method successfully alters the fat content of chocolate while also making it healthier and keeping it as tasty as ever.
Using this technique and keeping the viscosity at lower levels, researchers have managed to create a Mars bar with 32 percent fat content – reduced from the classic 40 percent. Less fat means fewer calories, which, in turn, makes the chocolate healthier to consume.
Featured in the online journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study has already been granted patents from U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Mars Chocolate was the company that funded the research.
The applications for low-fat chocolate with are numerous, which is why big chocolate producers are keen on funding and promoting studies that help develop new manufacturing methods.
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