A WILLY Wonka-style discovery could lead to “skinny” chocolate bars made with fruit juice instead of fat.
Scientists at the University of Warwick have come up with a way to cut half the fat from the confectionery while retaining its “chocolatey” feel.
The secret is juice in the form of micro-bubbles that preserve a texture that is firm to bite, yet melts in the mouth.
Lead researcher Dr Stefan Bon said: “We have established the chemistry that’s the starting point for healthier chocolate confectionery.
“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.”
Using fruit juice or diet cola to make chocolate also reduced overall sugar content.
The technology works with dark, milk and white chocolate, said Dr Bon. The Warwick team has made chocolate with apple, orange and cranberry juice.