Health & Wellbeing

Milk chocolate gets the benefits of the dark side

Milk chocolate gets the benefi...
Thanks to a new additive, milk chocolate and dark chocolate may soon be equally as good for you
Thanks to a new additive, milk chocolate and dark chocolate may soon be equally as good for you
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Thanks to a new additive, milk chocolate and dark chocolate may soon be equally as good for you
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Thanks to a new additive, milk chocolate and dark chocolate may soon be equally as good for you

Most people prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate, as it has a less-bitter flavor. The antioxidant properties of dark chocolate, however, make it the healthier choice. Well, soon you may no longer have to choose between better-tasting and better-for-you. Scientists have developed a method of boosting the antioxidant levels of milk chocolate up to those of its dark counterpart, while also putting a waste product to new use.

A research team at North Carolina State University started by extracting antioxidant-rich phenolic compounds from peanut skins, which are normally discarded during the blanching process in the peanut industry. Those compounds were then encapsulated within maltodextrin powder, which is a slightly sweet-tasting edible carbohydrate derived from starchy foods such as rice, corn or potatoes.

That powder was subsequently added to conventional milk chocolate, bringing its antioxidant levels up to those of dark chocolate.

In taste tests, 80 volunteers reported liking the treated milk chocolate just as much as milk chocolate with no added peanut skin extract. Although the extract could be tasted at higher concentrations, these were more than what would be needed to match the antioxidant levels of dark chocolate.

It should be noted that the scientists are still studying whether or not the treated chocolate could trigger reactions in people with peanut allergies.

A paper on the research was recently published in the Journal of Food Science.

Source: Institute of Food Technologists via EurekAlert

5 comments
Timelord
But what about the looming crisis of the Great Cacao Collapse that we've been repeatedly warned about? Wouldn't that mean we won't get either tasty milk or healthy dark chocolate?
William H Lanteigne
Even more nutrients are found in Natural (Broma) Process chocolate than any Dutch Process chocolate ("milk chocolate" or "dark chocolate"). The Dutch Process removes as much as 90% of the nutrients in chocolate.
Don Duncan
I have been a chocoholic for about 70 years. Also, a "health-nut" for 60. I have buried many friends/associates who laughed at me. I take no "scripts". I seldom see a doctor. I stay away from processed foods mostly. I eat raw, organic. I consider milk chocolate to be primarily a (processed) milk product with a poorly processed (Dutch method) chocolate flavoring. I started boycotting it in 1952 based on taste. The new version, more processed, un-tested reminds me of the ads in the '50s for Wonder Bread that bragged about added vitamins. The product was so processed that all nutrients were removed, making it empty calories, and requiring (FDA?) that something be put back to qualify as food. Garbage in, early death.
Dan Parker
This could be used to boost the antioxidant content of foods other than chocolate. Make other tasty foods somewhat healthier.
Grunchy
Fortified chocolate, it's a terrific idea. Fortified foods in all forms have practically eliminated all of the deficiency diseases ('nutritional diseases'). As for 'raw, organic': raw is your best bet of contracting salmonella, listeria, or e. coli infections; and non-organic produce has been definitively proven to be equally healthful as organic. I'm sorry if that seems merely contrary, but people have been spreading misinformation for years and it's time to start correcting the situation. Incidentally your own personal experience is an example of 'anecdotal fallacy'. Just because something has worked for you in the past is insufficient proof that it will work for anybody else in the future - including yourself!