There’s some good news for milk chocolate lovers! Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered that adding peanut skins to milk chocolate boosts the treat’s antioxidant properties, making it a healthier option, like dark chocolate.
Naturally occurring phenolic compounds in dark chocolate are responsible not only for its bitter taste but also for its antioxidant properties and less fat and sugar content than what’s in milk chocolate. After testing different types of agricultural waste for bioactivity the North Carolina team found peanut skins, which contain 15 per cent phenolic compounds by weight, are a potential “goldmine” of antioxidant bioactivity.
Ultimately, adding antioxidant-rich peanut skins to milk chocolate could enable consumers to reap the health benefits of dark chocolate, but for a fraction of the price. The project’s principal investigator, Lisa Dean, Ph.D., also stated that not only do these compounds include anti-inflammatory health benefits, they also help keep foods from spoiling. Researchers plan to take their findings of peanut skins and milk chocolate and apply them to other foods to see if the same health, antioxidant and food preservation benefits will occur. Specifically, the team is planning to experiment with adding peanut skins to a variety of peanut butter brands to prolong shelf life.
Source: American Chemical Society