This story is over 5 years old.

How Scientists Plan to Make Milk Chocolate Healthy

You could soon be eating a lot more milk chocolate, thanks to an unlikely ingredient.
Photo via Flickr user Magic Madzik

If you're the kind of person who compares desserts to your most depressing Tinder dates, then dark chocolate is the dull day-trader to milk chocolate's backwards hat-wearing man-bro. Milk chocolate is the one who gave you a good-but-lowbrow night out, while dour and reserved dark chocolate droned on about its boring antioxidants and healthy flavonoids. Fortunately, scientists at North Carolina State University believe that they've found a way to bring some of the benefits of dark chocolate to milk chocolate too.


The team of researchers combined discarded peanut skins—an otherwise worthless byproduct from peanut processing—with artificial sweeteners and milk chocolate, discovering that those purplish skins were enough to boost the antioxidant content of the chocolate itself. And, thanks to a bit of maltodextrin, the chocolate didn't taste bitter (or like you'd just licked one of the less palatable parts of Mr. Peanut's body).

"We were able to take milk chocolate and increase the bioactivity up to the level of dark chocolate without any kind of bitter taste or change in the mouth feel that consumers found objectionable," lead researcher Lisa Dean said, according to the CBC.

OK, there's a big difference between "it didn't taste disgusting" and "that was delicious," but this research—and the flavor—will undoubtedly be tested and retested before any antioxidant-heavy milk chocolate starts to appear on grocery store shelves. This is promising, though, for a number of reasons: it's a way to add value to peanut skins that would be otherwise swept into the trash, and a way to bring at least some benefit to the kind of chocolate that most of us would prefer to eat.

"If the [peanut skin] compounds themselves are the cause of the health effects, then the health effects will be the same, regardless of the food source," Dean told Quartz.

Sorry dark chocolate. We never really liked you anyway.