Sugar is undergoing a makeover in food labs as the not-so-sweet science increasingly shows eating too much sugar can pose serious health risks, from diabetes to heart disease. Sugar is already prevalent in foods ranging from cereal and spaghetti sauce to soda and sweets.
A redesign of sugar involves tinkering with the shape of sugar molecules to deliver the same sweetness but with a lower amount of actual sugar. Nestlé is one of the few companies that has publicly discussed its efforts to restructure sugar molecules, though exactly how remains a secret.
“Sugar is not a bad molecule per se,” says Stefan Catsicas, the chief technology officer for Nestlé. “Over time, with no bad intention, we became more and more used to certain sweetness [and] now, we are looking to replace sugar with less sugar and remove calories but keep the same level of sweetness.”