Nestle announced that it is working on a new sugar which will offer the same taste but fewer calories. The new sugar is a reformulated sugar molecule that will enable a 40% reduction of sugar in confectionary items when it is released in 2018. Nestle manufactures a number of candies such as Crunch, Butterfinger, and Nerds and held 4.5% of the US candy market in 2016.
The new sugar is created by restructuring the sugar molecule. Regular sugar molecules have a box-like structure. The new molecule will have a globe-like structure that will react with taste receptors differently. By manipulating the sugar molecule, the new sugar will be able to deliver the same amount of sweetness with less sugar being used.
As food companies come under increased scrutiny for the sugar content in foods, this new sugar has the potential to give consumers the products they love with less impact on their health. Overconsumption of sugar is linked to diabetes and obesity, so reducing consumption levels is important for public health.