Rethinking the Recipe for Chocolate

Chocolate is a magical food, but the health benefits of the cacao beans are subverted by the huge amounts of sugar and fat we use to make it palatable. What if we could make sweet chocolate without all that sugar? What if we just used other parts of the cacao fruit to do it?

Cocoa is made from fermenting, roasting, and grinding the seeds (beans) of the cacao fruit. But other parts of the fruit have value, even though they are normally thrown away. There is a layer inside the shell, called the endocarp, that contains abundant plant fiber. The juice of the pulp that surrounds the seeds is sweet. A group of Swiss scientists found that when you pulverize, dry, and combine these two parts of the plant, you can produce a sweet gel substance. Add cocoa powder, and the candy produced is almost as sweet as a chocolate bar.

This new kind of chocolate is healthier because it provides fiber to regulate sugar absorption, but it also reduces waste since it uses more of the cacao fruit. If the process can be refined, it may be possible for cacao farmers to produce finished, edible chocolate right there at the source. Find out more about this process at ScienceAlert.  -via the New Shelton wet/dry

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