• 8
  • 8
  • 5
  •  
  •  

Thank you science! Researchers thing they have found a way to create chocolate with precisely the same yumminess – but almost half the sugar.

Soon the KitKats rolling off the York production line could come with 40% less sugar with no impact on taste, thanks to a major breakthrough by Nestlé scientists.

Using only natural ingredients, researchers have found a way to structure sugar differently. So even when much less is used in chocolate, your tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before.

Nestlé says the discovery will enable Nestlé to significantly decrease the total sugar in its confectionery products, while maintaining a natural taste.

“This truly groundbreaking research is inspired by nature and has the potential to reduce total sugar by up to 40% in our confectionery,” said Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé chief technology officer.

“Our scientists have discovered a completely new way to use a traditional, natural ingredient.”

Dream come true

Well done, that man! A Nestlé research scientist. Photograph: Nestlé / Francisco Arias

Well done, that man! A Nestlé research scientist. Photograph: Nestlé / Francisco Arias

Mr Catsicas said that the sugar crystals dissolve more quickly, stimulating the taste buds faster.

Unprocessed food has complex structures, which Nestle is trying to mimic by distributing the sugar in a less uniform way.

If you look with an electron microscope into an apple, that’s exactly what you see.

Nestlé is patenting its findings and will begin to use the faster-dissolving sugar across a range of its confectionery products from 2018 onwards.

The company expects to provide more details about the first roll-out of reduced-sugar confectionery sometime next year.

Science city

Even York's Roman emperor Constantine needs to have a break… Photograph: Nestlé

Even York’s Roman emperor Constantine needs to have a break… Photograph: Nestlé

This breakthrough comes at a time when food manufacturers are being pressured to improve the healthiness of their products.

Linked to the obesity epidemic, the amount of sugar in our diet is also a key factor in increasing rates of Type 2 diabetes.

Nestlé has one of the largest research and development capabilities in the food and beverage industry. It has 40 R&D locations worldwide, including the Product Technology Centre for confectionery in York.

The factory here produces 1,900 Kit Kats every minute.