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Healthy chocolate made with fruit juice?

Chemist Stefan Bon says he can substitute the fat in chocolate with fruit juice. (University of Warwick)Chemist Stefan Bon says he can substitute the fat in chocolate with fruit juice. (University of Warwick)It's a chocoholic's ultimate fantasy: a smooth, creamy bar of rich chocolate — but without all the fat. Now, thanks to glorious science, that fantasy may soon be a reality.

A team of chemists at the University of Warwick in Britain claim to have found a way to cut the fat content of chocolate in half by using a most unlikely substitute ingredient, fruit juice.

According to a press release, the chemists have taken out much of the cocoa and milk fats and substituted tiny droplets of orange and cranberry juice measuring less than 30 microns across. Using what is known as a Pickering emulsion, which prevents the droplets from merging, they mixed the solution into white, milk and dark chocolate, with successful results.

There is a drawback — the final product will taste a tad fruity, but the team says that using water mixed with ascorbic acid instead of actual juice is also an option.

Lead scientist Stefan Bon — who can be seen gleefully posing with piles of chocolate — boasted about his invention.

"It's the fat that gives chocolate all the indulgent sensations that people crave — the silky smooth texture and the way it melts in the mouth but still has a 'snap' to it when you break it with your hand. We've found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate 'chocolatey' but with fruit juice instead of fat."

Bon says that now it's up to the food industry to take his findings and turn them into delicious low-fat indulgences available for the masses to snack on. Let's hope this invention makes it across the pond and into some of our made-in-Canada chocolatey treats sooner rather than later. Coffee Crisp, anyone?

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