Dark chocolate has always been the hero of all stories, while milk chocolate has been the poor cousin. But to those of you who are chocolate buffs, the health benefits of milk chocolate have been given a boost recently due to some magic concoctions by scientists.
In a study published in Food Science, North Carolina State University scientists were reported to have taken some samples of milk chocolate and mixed them with a powder composed of phenolic compounds. These are ingredients that possess antioxidant abilities and can ward off cell damage due to cancer, heart disease, and other reasons. They used peanut skins to achieve their trick.
That way, they could boost the milk chocolate's antioxidant levels. When they mixed some maltodextrin powder, an artificial sweetener, they could cancel out the bitterness to some extent, keeping the chocolate sweet.
Scientists arrived at their result after they gave 80 tasters both regular milk chocolate and peanut-altered chocolate.
They found, to their delight, that the tasters liked both samples equally.
Moreover, it made the peanut skins useful too. They are mostly discarded as waste products after peanuts are blanched.
"If applied to commercial products, peanut skin extracts would allow consumers to enjoy mild tasting products and have exposure to compounds that have proven health benefits," says lead author Lisa Dean.
However, those who suffer from peanut allergy had better watch it. Chocolate hasn't been able to cancel the nut's allergenic properties - yet.
So however nutty you are about chocolate, you need to keep away from cracking it if you suffer from nut allergy.