Nestlé reduces intrinsic sugars in key ingredients

Minimal impact on taste and texture

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Nestle
Nestle says it has reduced intrinsic sugar in ingredients such as malt, milk, and fruit juices by up to 30%, with a minimal impact on taste and texture.

Multinational food and drink processing conglomerate Nestlé has introduced a versatile and cost-effective sugar reduction technology that can be applied across different product categories, with benefits beyond sugar reduction. It can also be used to produce low lactose and skimmed milk-based products, while reducing total sugars, the company said.

Using an enzymatic process, it reduces intrinsic sugar in ingredients such as malt, milk, and fruit juices by up to 30%, with a minimal impact on taste and texture. The sugar-reduced ingredients are then used in recipes for various products. There is no need to add sweeteners or bulking agents to replace the volume of the eliminated sugar, the company says.

When the patented sugar reduction method is applied to milk-based products, it also increases prebiotic fibers. First clinical studies have shown that these fibers can support the growth of multiple types of beneficial bacteria leading to a favorable microbiome composition in healthy adults.

Stefan Palzer, Nestlé Chief Technology officer says, “Sugar reduction across our portfolio remains a top priority. This new technology is a true breakthrough, as we can reduce sugar without adding sweeteners while preserving a great taste, all at a minimal cost increase. In addition, our scientists discovered that the sugar reduction generates prebiotic fibers that support the microbiome, which is an additional benefit. We are now accelerating the global roll-out across formats and categories.”

The sugar reduction was first piloted in cocoa and malt-based ready-to-drink beverages in Southeast Asia and over the past year, Nestlé has already introduced it in factory lines for cocoa and malt-based powdered beverages such as Milo across several countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Since 2021, the sugar reduction technology has been applied to over 200 000 tons of cocoa and malt-based beverages. The roll-out continues, and other product categories such as dairy powders will follow.

The company says the development of novel technologies is part of Nestlé’s continuous efforts to improve the nutritional value of its products, while supporting responsible consumption as part of a balanced diet. The new sugar reduction technology complements a wide range of existing solutions which Nestlé has developed over the years in collaboration with external innovation partners and suppliers. This includes natural sweeteners, sweetness-enhancing or bitterness masking flavors, as well as natural bulking agents such as fibers, cereals and tailor-made dairy and cocoa powders.

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