World’s largest packaged food Swiss group, Nestlé, said this week that it had found a way to reduce the amount of sugar in some of its chocolate bars by 40% without compromising on taste. It is now planning to come up with low-calorie Kit Kats.
The Swiss food company, whose products include Kit Kats, Aeros and Yorkies, claims that it has attained the reduction by using only natural ingredients “to structure sugar differently”. The new process is said to make sugar dissolve faster so that even when lesser amount of sugar is used, the tongue tends to taste an identical level of sweetness.
The company’s chief technology officer, Dr Stefan Catsicas, said in a statement on Nov 30, “It is sugar, but it is assembled differently so it can disassemble easily in your mouth with less going into your gastrointestinal tract”. Discovered by Nestle scientists, they plan to patent the process. Nestle refused to explain the process in detail, as the company is seeking patents for it.
Sugar has been blamed for the increasing obesity numbers crippling the NHS (National Health Service) in the U.K. Several health campaigners have been urging confectionery companies to reduce unnecessary sugar from their products.
Nestlé’s self-professed advancement in being able to reduce the sugar levels is very likely to be welcomed, should it live up to its claims, and may well prove to be highly profitable to the company.
Nestle says it shall begin to process the new technique in its confectionery products from 2018.
A four-finger milk chocolate Kit Kat presently contains 23.8gm of sugar, a plain Yorkie contains 26.9gm and a medium peppermint Aero has 24.9gm of sugar. If the quantity of sugar in each of these products was cut by 40% the new amounts would be 14.3gm, 16.1gm and 14.9gm, respectively.
Nestle and its peers have all been working to reduce sugar, fat and salt, as consumers increasingly opt for fresher, healthier options.
PepsiCo, in 2010 had also piloted a designer salt molecule that it said would allow it to use less sodium without affecting the taste of its snacks, which include Walkers crisps and Cheetos.