Swiss food company, Nestlé, has discovered a method of removing up to 40 percent of the added sugar in some of its chocolate bars, without changing the taste. According to Nestlé, maker of Kit Kats and Aeros, their scientists have developed a way to restructure the sugar molecules, allowing them to dissolve more quickly to give an equivalent level of sweetness to the products.
This novel form of sugar could be added sparingly to chocolate products, thereby reducing the amount of sugar necessary to deliver the same taste. Nestlé has plans to patent the sugar restructuring process, and use it to reformulate some of its chocolate confectionary products.
“This truly groundbreaking research is inspired by nature and has the potential to reduce total sugar by up to 40% in our confectionery,” said Nestlé’s chief technology officer, Stefan Catsicas. “Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient.”
Sugar has been implicated in the increasing problem of obesity in developed nations around the world. In 2014, a group of specialists came together to form Action on Sugar, a group aimed at convincing manufacturers to reduce sugar in all foods by 30 percent.
Nestlé’s research on the fast-dissolving sugar should help it stay competitive in the confectionary market, where consumers are increasingly looking to lower sugar options. The company plans to begin adding the new form of sweetener to its products in 2018.
Currently, a standard four-finger Kit Kat contains 23.8 grams of sugar. If this was cut by 40 percent using the new sugar, the amount would be reduced to 14.3 grams.
According to UK-based nutritionists, people over the age of 11 years old should consume no more than 30 grams of sugar per day. This amount equates to 5 percent of total calories consumed. Around 15 percent of the total calorific intake for children ages 11 to 18 currently consists of sugar.