Nestle recently sent out this tweet:
The breakthrough, according to Bloomberg, is a "sugar-reduction process." Nestle hasn't released many details because of a pending patent.
Here are a few specifics that we know. The company said their process will make sugar crystals that are "hollow," mimicking unprocessed food that has complex structures. Those "hollow" sugar crystals will dissolve more quickly and stimulate the taste buds faster.
If I'm understanding this correctly, scientists are taking processed sugar, processing it even further, and then making it mimic unprocessed food. That end product will be sweeter than the original, allowing the company to put less in its candy.
Taste will be affected, and Nestle's Chief Technology Officer Stefan Catsicas says it will be "more natural." To get people accustomed to this more natural taste, candy will be changed slowly, gradually replacing sugar in its current form with the new, sweeter sugar.
Will this sugar be natural? According to Nestle's press release, it will be.
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.
Saying it's natural doesn't really mean anything, however, since the FDA's rules about the word are ambiguous.
(That could be changing, though. Last year, the FDA started looking at the word "natural" and asked for public comments. No final statement has been issued about whether the government agency will create a more precise definition of the word.)
Without more details, it's hard to make any type of judgment call on this new, sweeter sugar. It sounds good. It could be good, but without specifics, who knows? I do know I want to know more, and the concept is intriguing.