PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds

Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds
2024-02-12
(Press-News.org) UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The secret to making delicious chocolate with less added sugar is oat flour, according to a new study by Penn State researchers. In a blind taste test, recently published in the Journal of Food Science, 25% reduced-sugar chocolates made with oat flour were rated equally, and in some cases preferred, to regular chocolate. The findings provide a new option for decreasing chocolate’s sugar content while maintaining its texture and flavor.

“We were able to show that there is a range in which you can manage a sizable reduction in added sugar and people won’t notice and don't care, in terms of liking,” said John Hayes, professor of food science at Penn State and corresponding author on the study. “We're never going to make chocolate healthy, because it's an indulgence, but we can successfully take out some of the sugar for consumers who are trying to reduce their intake of added sugars.”

Hayes explained that chocolate is about half sugar by weight, with the rest being fat and cocoa solids, so reducing the amount of sugar by any amount can drastically alter the texture and flavor profile of the chocolate.

“The function of sugar in chocolate is both sweetness and bulking, so if we take that sugar out, we have to put something else in that will do the job just as well, or consumers will notice,” said Gregory Ziegler, distinguished professor of food science at Penn State and co-author on the study.

Ziegler had the idea of testing two different grains, rice and oats, which contain fine granular starches as replacements for sugar in chocolate. The end result would still contain carbs, which eventually break down into sugar, but the speed of absorption may be slower.

“Starch is still a carbohydrate, so it’s not lower calories, but there is an overall reduction in the added sugar content, which has potential health benefits,” Ziegler said.

The team conducted two different blind taste tests using dark chocolate made with varying levels of sugars and grain flour. The first test, conducted with 66 participants, was designed to evaluate whether consumers would notice a difference between six varieties of chocolates: a control with a normal 54% level of sugar, four sugar-reduced versions with reductions of 25% or 50% sugar and additions of oat or rice flour, and one 54% sugar chocolate with reduced refining time to test if the grinding time would affect the texture.

Consumers rated the 25% sugar-reduced chocolates and the reduced refining time chocolate similar to the blind control, but the 50% sugar reduction was rated significantly different in both texture and flavor. The team concluded this was mainly due to texture, as participants reported the rice flour chocolate contained “a chalkier texture,” while oat-flour-containing chocolates were described as “smoother, softer and creamier.”

The second blind taste test involved 90 participants and gauged consumer acceptability for 25% reduced sugar chocolates made with oat and rice flours compared to regular chocolate, the control, made with 54% sugar. Each participant was served one square of each chocolate for a total of three samples and was asked to rate overall liking, flavor liking, texture liking and sweetness liking. The rice flour chocolates were liked significantly less than the normal chocolate control, but the oat flour sample did not differ from control — and in some cases was rated slightly better.

“Our results suggest we can cut back 25% of added sugar to chocolate, effectively reducing the total sugar by 13.5%, if we substitute oat flour,” said Kai Kai Ma, a doctoral candidate in food science at Penn State and co-author on the paper. “That addition of oat flour is unlikely to meaningfully impact consumer acceptability, which is great news.”

Hayes, who also directs Penn State’s Sensory Evaluation Center, said he plans to reach out to some of his former students who are now working in the chocolate industry to share the findings and hopefully spur new varieties of sugar-reduced chocolates by providing a proof-of-concept that oat flour can effectively do the job of added sugars.

“I'm a big believer in meeting consumers where they are,” Hayes said. “We've tried for 40 years to tell people to eat less sugar and it doesn't work because people want to eat what they want to eat. So instead of making people feel guilty, we need to meet people where they are and figure out how to make food better while still preserving the pleasure from food.”

The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded this work.

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds 2 Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds 3

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

AI-supported image analysis: metrics determine quality

2024-02-12
How well do the algorithms used in the AI-supported analysis of medical images perform their respective tasks? This depends to a large extent on the metrics used to evaluate their performance. An international consortium led by scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg has compiled the knowledge available worldwide on the specific strengths, weaknesses and limitations of the various validation metrics. With "Metrics Reloaded", the researchers are ...

Innovative decarbonization: UH researcher offers carbon-driven framework to accelerate shift toward net-zero electric power sector

Innovative decarbonization: UH researcher offers carbon-driven framework to accelerate shift toward net-zero electric power sector
2024-02-12
Houston, Texas, the epicenter of the global energy market, and the University of Houston – the Energy University – are leading the transition towards a cleaner, more sustainable future with innovative solutions. With three-quarters of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions stemming from burning fossil fuels for energy, it's clear that the key to curbing emissions lies in reimagining how energy is produced and consumed. In Texas, the shift is already well on its way. Technologies like giant batteries, ...

White people more likely to confront authors of racist online posts to set discussion rules

White people more likely to confront authors of racist online posts to set discussion rules
2024-02-12
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — White people surveyed in a recent study indicated they would be more likely to confront those who post racist content on social media if their objective were to defend the norms for political discussions rather than to change the person’s prejudiced beliefs.  Communication professors Stewart M. Coles of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Daniel S. Lane of the University of California, Santa Barbara surveyed people during the 2020 U.S. presidential election cycle to explore the conditions under ...

University of Rhode Island Nutrition study to help inform official USDA dietary guidelines

University of Rhode Island Nutrition study to help inform official USDA dietary guidelines
2024-02-12
Ultra-processed foods make up more than half the food average Americans eat. Including frozen and prepared meals, most packaged snacks, desserts and carbonated soft drinks—but also including more innocuous foods—they are often considered the bane of healthy eating, containing little to no nutrition to fuel healthy bodies. However, “not all processed foods are created equal,” according to University of Rhode Island Nutrition Professor Kathleen Melanson. Evidence to support the assumption that ultra-processed foods are all bad for one’s health is limited, and the nutritional ...

Number of at-risk youth with intellectual disability and autism in the U.S. foster care system is growing

2024-02-12
Youth with foster care involvement have an increased risk for mental health diagnoses, trauma and worse outcomes in adulthood than their peers. Research about how youth with disabilities, including autism and intellectual disability, interact with this system is lacking. Evidence for how youth with autism or intellectual disability in the foster care system access and use services is needed to advance ways to improve their outcomes. Recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics, researchers at Drexel University’s A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, in collaboration with George Mason University’s ...

Multiple city hubs, dispersed parks keep metro areas cooler

2024-02-12
ITHACA, N.Y. – Metropolitan areas with multiple city centers and dispersed green spaces mitigate extreme heat more effectively than those with one dominant city, an analysis by Cornell University city planning scholars finds. Compared to “monocentric” development, “polycentric” spatial patterns better distribute the density of urban cores and curb the sprawl of impervious, heat-absorbing surfaces, according to the analysis of 50 city regions in Germany. Particularly in larger urban areas, polycentric development can moderate the urban heat island effect, ...

Innovation to overcome deficiencies in 3D printing

Innovation to overcome deficiencies in 3D printing
2024-02-12
The University of Houston is collaborating with Texas A&M University to tackle the challenge hindering the use of Additive Manufacturing (AM), commonly known as 3D printing, for a variety of commercial applications – the need for real-time monitoring and analysis to ensure consistent quality and reproducibility throughout the production process.  At present, quality control and qualification of metal AM parts is mostly carried out through offline inspection and characterization, but ideally, a broad range of sub-surface and bulk microstructural ...

Novel bispecific design improves CAR T–cell immunotherapy for childhood leukemia

Novel bispecific design improves CAR T–cell immunotherapy for childhood leukemia
2024-02-12
(MEMPHIS, Tenn. – February 12, 2024) St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists improved chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T–cell immunotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), demonstrating better efficacy in the lab. To overcome common problems with CAR T cells, the researchers created an additional means for the therapy to find and eliminate cancer cells, using a small peptide. The study also showed how a computational approach incorporating AlphaFold predicted protein models could help ...

Including socioeconomic status of patients in calculation of Medicare readmission penalties would reduce stress on safety-net hospitals

2024-02-12
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Affordable Care Act requires Medicare to issue penalties that reduce payment to hospitals if post-operative readmission rates within 30 days exceed the national average. A new study led by Regenstrief Institute Research Scientist Andrew Gonzalez, M.D., J.D., MPH, reports that including socioeconomic status in the penalty calculation would reduce the amount of readmission penalties for safety-net hospitals, which typically care for the sickest patients. Other factors, including age and sex are ...

Are ammonia engines the way of the future? (video)

Are ammonia engines the way of the future? (video)
2024-02-12
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12, 2024 — Could ammonia engines power the cars of the future? Carmakers like Toyota are working to make this a reality. Ammonia is combustible and holds promise as a relatively low-effort way to decarbonize the internal combustion engine — but the devil’s in the details. Join George as he discovers at least one of those details by burning stuff in his basement. https://youtu.be/KZ_NlnmPQYk?si=BleQF9-aReuttCU4 Reactions is a video series produced by the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios. Subscribe to Reactions at http://bit.ly/ACSReactions ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Detection of suicide-related emergencies among children using real-world clinical data: A free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Editor-in-Chief of Sustainability and Climate Change Madhavi Venkatesan named USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Massachusetts for leading plastic bottle ban efforts

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

Zika vaccine safe, effective when administered during pregnancy

Firearm ownership is correlated with elevated lead levels in children, study finds

Role of African women and young people in agricultural service provision investigated in new CABI-led study

26th International Conference of the Redox Medicine Society Set for June 2024 in Paris, France

Geologists explore the hidden history of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks

Webb unlocks secrets of one of the most distant galaxies ever seen

3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors

Discovered a RNA molecule that helps prevent DNA replication errors

Small and overlooked: Amount of repetitive DNA in blood hints at cancer early

Study determines the original orientations of rocks drilled on Mars

Illinois study: Supporting disease-challenged broiler chickens through nutrition

Communities severed by roads and traffic experience a larger number of collisions in New York City

Study shows new class of antivirals that works against SARS-CoV-2

Cost of direct air carbon capture to remain higher than hoped

Unraveling the mystery of chiton visual systems

Case Western Reserve University-led research team discovers new method to test for oral cancer

Firearm access and gun violence exposure are common in Black and native communities

New AI smartphone tool accurately diagnoses ear infections

Screen time and parent-child talk when children are ages 12 to 36 months

Firearm access and gun violence exposure among American Indian or Alaska native and Black adults

Associations of medical debt with health status, premature death, and mortality in the US

Low-cost liquid tames tooth decay

More than 1/3 illicit drugs sold on the dark web contain unexpected substances

A better way to deliver fetal therapy for serious genetic disorders

Researchers develop amphibian-inspired camouflage skin

Network of quantum sensors boosts precision

Robotic hip exoskeleton shows promise for helping stroke patients regain their stride

[Press-News.org] Sugar-reduced chocolate with oat flour just as tasty as original, study finds