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Title: Fat reduction in chocolate : a multidisciplinary approach considering emulsion science and consumer expectations
Author: Norton, Jennifer Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2012
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Chocolate is consumed in large quantities, but is high in fat and calories, and has limited nutritional benefits. Producing reduced-fat chocolate offers a way of reducing energy consumed, if the consumer will accept the product. The aims of the research presented in this thesis were: i) to investigate consumer response to reduced-fat chocolate; ii) to investigate formulation routes for producing a reduced fat chocolate. Focus group data indicated ambivalence towards chocolate, with some negativity towards the concept of a reduced-fat indulgent product. By manipulating label information it was shown that whilst consumers expected to like chocolate labelled ‘reduced-fat’ less than the standard chocolate, ratings of actual liking and of sensory attributes were similar. Thus, personal experience plays a greater role than expectations. This suggests that if the sensory characteristics of a reduced-fat chocolate can be matched to a standard chocolate, actual liking should not be affected. Packaging concepts indicated how different components of the package affect liking. Water in oil cocoa butter emulsions were produced using a high shear mixer and a margarine line. Formulation changes (emulsifier type and concentration, and gelatin concentration) and processing parameters (shaft speeds and temperatures, and flow rate) were considered. All emulsions had small droplets (typically 1-5μm) and little ‘free water’. When produced on the margarine line fat crystals in polymorphic form V were produced. Crystalline shells were also observed at the droplet interface. Pilot plant experiments resulted in comparable emulsions, with small droplets and fat crystals in form V. Although a full chocolate was not produced, the potential for margarine technology to produce a reduced-fat chocolate was demonstrated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TP Chemical technology ; TX Home economics