Chocoholics, are you sitting down? Researchers have just found a way process chocolate so it doesn’t need as much fat added into the recipe. By adding an electrical charge, the melted treat flows smoothly enough to be processed and, according to taste testers, is just as decadent as the original, higher-fat version. Your guilty pleasure may soon be a bit less guilty.
Researchers at Philadelphia’s Temple University recently published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, sharing how the use of electrorheology can make chocolate manufacturing run more smoothly. The chocolate company Mars partially funded the study.
Getting cocoa to the right consistency to flow easily during production is key, and usually requires a certain amount of added fat. By exposing liquid chocolate to an electric field, researchers found they could use 10 percent less added fat or oil and still produce the same results. They estimate they could even use up to 20 percent less in future studies.
Taste testers could either tell no difference between the electrified chocolate and a regular old bar or they thought the experimental treat tasted better. Before we get too excited, research and development still needs to be done on how well the chocolate stores and if the taste and texture really does rival the real stuff. Until then, we can rely on our old, tried and true treats.