Low Fat Chocolate Has Potential To Electrify Production

Tech |


Recent discovery shows that chocolate can flow more easily if subjected to electric field. This enables the chocolate to be low in fat. Though the reductions are not massive, but then it enables serious reduction in calorie intake. This makes it possible to enjoy chocolate without fear of health issues. Fat has a distinct unique taste of its own, and this helps us in appreciating other flavors. The only challenge is their concentration, for instance the concentration of fat in a chocolate bar has been set but this proves to be very challenging when it comes to the production process.

Coming up with low fat chocolates has been a challenge because chocolates are resistant to flowing and more viscous. This makes the production of low fat chocolate impossible. Due to their resistance to flow chocolates are not able to move easily though pipelines used in mass production. Chocolate producers have failed in the past to produce low fat chocolates because of the basic science of matter; this is according to a report submitted by Professor Rongjia Tao of Temple University, Pennsylvania, that was presented in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The world is so used to the fact that chocolate has to be in solid and eaten when in solid form. What we don’t know is that during the whole production process chocolate is normally in liquid state and is only solidified in the last stage before the packing process and storage process begin. Don’t be shocked when you visit a chocolate production company and you see plenty of liquid chocolate.

But then when a flow of chocolate samples from different major manufacturers were subjected to 1600 volts/centimeter which is equivalent to 4000volts/inch electric field, the viscosity of the chocolate reduced. The chocolates had been heated to 40 degrees Celsius. The density of the liquid chocolate reduced. Tao was able to note that this reduces the need for fat that is important for solidification of the chocolate. Scientists who study flow of liquids (rheologists) have noted using maximally random jammed (MRJ) that, when the cocoa is hot and in liquid form, the flow of the chocolate can be reduced by removing a small amount of chocolate. This idea is what Tao uses in applying his test experiment. Chocolates made from cocoa solids and cocoa butter without adding any milk or sugar requires at least 36% of fat in order to avoid jamming.

But then using the electric field makes the cocoa particles to clump together hence become denser, this in turn breaks the rotational symmetry of the chocolate in liquid form, hence it can become viscous regardless of low levels of fat. Tao was able to establish that electricity is able to reduce viscosity in chocolate in liquid state; he then decided to measure fat is needed before the jamming occurred. He notes that it is possible to reduce the viscosity of all chocolates by 40-50%; this means that the fat levels can be reduced by 10% or more in all the chocolate samples. This means that at last the world’s sweetest treat can now be healthy for us to eat.

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Kevin Rollins


One of the most energetic writers we have on staff, Kevin comes in to work every day with an upbeat attitude and a willingness to learn something new each day. His infectious attitude has made our team a tight knit group and why he has been promoted to team lead by his peers. He focuses on our positive and inspirational stories as well as leads a team of writers.