Research Finds Electricity Can Make Chocolate Lower in Fat
Yes, you heard right! Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia may have found the secret to lowering the fat content in chocolate: electricity!
It’s no secret that chocolate makes us smile. Every second, Americans as a whole consume 100 pounds of chocolate. Your average American eats 9.5 pounds of chocolate per year. Of all Americans, the total is 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate per year. We rank 9th in the world for chocolate consumption, putting countries in Europe like Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, and a few others ahead of us. But regardless of who eats more, it’s still no secret that while studies prove health benefits when eating this delicious staple, especially of the dark variety, chocolate contains a lot of fat.
The Chocolate Electric Field
One reason for chocolate’s high fat content is because of how it’s made. During the manufacturing process, chocolate is in a liquid state. In order for the liquid to flow well for processing, it needs added fats and oils to maintain viscosity.
Researchers at Temple reduced the amount of fat added in the liquid process by pulling the liquid through an electric field. This electric field enables the cocoa to form into chains, allowing for a smooth flow of liquid chocolate, eliminating the need for the use of the usual amount of fat. By using this electric field, the researchers reduced the amount of fat content by 20% with all different brands of chocolate.
Temple University holds the patent for the process of using an electric field to change the viscosity for liquid chocolate during manufacturing. Since this research was partially funded by Mars Chocolate (makers of M&M’s, Snickers, Milky Way, Twix, and others) the question is: Will Mars use this process to make reduced-fat chocolate?
Will Companies Use Electricity to Make Chocolate?
While the research didn’t specify the difference of taste and texture of the chocolate used by an electric field instead of the usual amount of added fat, many who did try the chocolate processed using the electric field said they liked the taste more. Some even experienced a more distinct flavor of cocoa than that of the chocolate processed by the higher fat content.
It is really cool to know that electricity could be applied in the manufacturing of chocolate. It’s hard to say if chocolate companies like Mars and Hershey will use electricity for the making of their products, but one thing is for sure: being able to reduce the fat content with an electric field just may make this cocoa treat even more enjoyable to eat!