Document Type : Research Paper
Assistant Professor of Food Science, Department of Food Science and Technology, Neyshabur Branch, Islamic Azad University, Neyshabur, Iran
Introduction: Chocolate is a popular food product. White chocolate is produced extensively and has lower functionality compared to other chocolates. The present study aimed to characterize white chocolate enriched with free or encapsulated pomegranate extract. Methods: To increase the functionality of white chocolate, pomegranate extract was added in the free or encapsulated forms at various concentrations (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 g/200 g). The coacervation was performed for the encapsulation of pomegranate extract. The quality parameters of the chocolate samples were also evaluated, including the color index, melting behavior, flow behavior (rheometer and scanning electron microscopy), particle size distribution, texture analysis, and organoleptic properties. Other analysis included the determination of the total phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties of the samples. Results: The addition of pomegranate extract (free/encapsulated) decreased Tonset, Tpeak, and DH of white chocolate compared to the control samples. In addition, the added pomegranate extract reduced the casson yield stress, while it increased casson viscosity. The extract also changed the color indices and particle size distribution (P<0.05). The white chocolate samples containing pomegranate extract (free/encapsulated) had a higher phenolic content and antioxidant activity than the control samples. Moreover, sensory properties were affected by chocolate formulation, and the samples containing encapsulated pomegranate extract had superior organoleptic properties compared to the samples with free pomegranate extract. Conclusion: According to the results, free or encapsulated pomegranate extract could enhance the functionality of white chocolate in term of antioxidant activity. Furthermore, organoleptic properties were affected by chocolate formulation, and the samples containing encapsulated pomegranate extract had better organoleptic properties compared to those containing the free form of the extract.