(ETX Studio) – Good news for foodies. With the global chocolate market expected to hit $ 139.9 billion by 2024, scientists have found a new way to make milk chocolate as nutritious as dark chocolate.
Often preferred for its less bitter aroma and for its creamy texture, milk chocolate does not display the same nutritional values as dark, whose high concentration of polyphenols offers many anti-inflammatory benefits.
According to the American Chemical Society, researchers from the United States Department of Agricultural Research (USDA) have discovered a new way to combine milk chocolate with peanut seed skin residue to boost its antioxidant properties.
“The idea for this project started with bioactivity testing of different types of agricultural waste, in particular peanut skins. Our initial goal was to extract phenols from the skins and find a way to mix them with food.” USDA study lead Dr. Lisa Dean said in a statement.
Professor Dean’s team found that peanut seed skins, which are usually discarded after making peanut butter and other products, contain a gold mine of antioxidants because they contain 15% of the compounds. phenolics by weight.
They ground the peanut skins into a powder and paired them with a frequently used food additive called maltodextrin to make it easier to incorporate them into the final milk chocolate.
The researchers then tested their discovery with a panel of consumers, who tasted several versions of this new phenol-doped chocolate with concentrations ranging from 0.1% up to 8.1%.
“The testers found that concentrations above 0.9% were detectable, but incorporating the phenols at 0.8% resulted in a good compromise between strong bioactivity, aroma and texture,” reported the American Chemical Society.
In addition, more than half of the panel preferred milk chocolate with 0.8% phenols, even compared to traditional milk chocolate found in supermarkets.
Professor Dean’s team has also worked with various coffee roasters and tea producers to obtain coffee grounds and tea leaves to extract antioxidants.
Although the commercialization of this new type of chocolate is still far from being proposed, researchers are already planning to explore the incorporation of peanut seed skins, ground coffee and other residues in other foods.