NEW ORLEANS – New technology has been shown to reduce fat in chocolate by up to 50%. During a meeting of the American Chemical Society, a nonprofit scientific organization, researchers presented a process that uses fruit juice in the form of micro-bubbles to retain chocolate’s velvety texture while replacing some of the cocoa butter and milk fats.

“We have established the chemistry that’s a starting point for healthier chocolate confectionary,” said Dr. Stefan A. F. Bon, who led the research at the University of Warwick in Coventry, West Midlands, in the United Kingdom. “This approach maintains the things that make chocolate 'chocolatey,' but with fruit juice instead of fat. Now we're hoping the food industry will take the next steps and use the technology to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars and other candy.”

Substituting fruit juice, vitamin-C water or diet cola also was shown to reduce the sugar content in chocolate. The research team experimented with apple, orange and cranberry juice infusions, as well as dark, milk and white chocolate.

“Fruit-juice-infused candy tastes like an exciting hybrid between traditional chocolate and a chocolate-juice confectionery,” Dr. Bon said. “Since the juice is spread out in the chocolate, it doesn’t overpower the taste of the chocolate. We believe that the technology adds an interesting twist to the range of chocolate confectionary products available.”