If you love chocolate, you are not alone. For the United States confectionary industry, which is valued at about $34.5 billion, chocolate is an important product. Over 60% or $21.1 billion in sales is from the sale of chocolate, according to the National Confectioners Association. Many chocolate treats. are made for a variety of holidays. There are even events devoted to chocolate. Camp resorts around the country even host chocolate lover?s weekends.
Many people try to avoid the tasty treat because of the calories. People who love chocolate may take heart. Nestle is working on a chocolate that has a lot less sugar in it. The company has said that it has been able to chemically alter the structure of sugar, according to reporting done by the BBC. The new version of sugar makes it possible to make treats like chocolate just as sweet but needs 40% less sugar than is used now. The company says that people who enjoy chocolate lover?s weekends will not notice any chance in the flavor of the chocolate that is made with the new sugar.
Scientists at the Swiss company say that they are working to fool people’s taste buds to make them think what they are eating has more sugar than it has. They are working on getting a patent for the product and say they have plans to start putting it in their products in 2018.
Stefan Catsicas, the chief technology officer for Nestle, called the development, “truly groundbreaking research.”
Different kinds of chocolate and different brands have varying amounts of sugar in them. Milk chocolate can have as much as 50% sugar but not all of that comes from sugar itself. The milk adds sugar to the product. Almost 60% of white chocolate is sugar. Dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar. There are some kinds of dark chocolate that have absolutely no sugar at all but it can also have up to 40% sugar.
“This is good science. A lot of people have been looking at sugar trying to reduce the amount,” says Julian Cooper, professor and chair of the Scientific Committee at the Institute of Food Science and Technology, of the work being done at Nestle. Cooper says Nestle products with the new sugar may have a “halo effect” and that people may end up eating more chocolate because it has less sugar in it and is lower in calories. Cooper suspects that Nestle will not be the only company to try to develop new sugars to lower the number of calories in their products as well. He says Nestle’s move to get a patent for the sugar may encourage other work on sugar. “A patent is a double-edged sword. Although it protects what you have done it also tells your rivals about it,” he said.
In 2007, Nestle began working on cutting sugar from a number of items they sell as part of its “global policy on sugar reduction.”
It is not the first company to try to work on the ingredients used in its products. In 2010, PepsiCo developed a new form of salt for its chips and other items. This lets the company make products with less sodium but while maintaining the same flavor.
The new sugar may make those chocolate lover?s weekends that are hosted by many wooded campgrounds that are so popular for family camping trips more sweet. This new sugar may also make it possible for more people to participate in the chocolate lover?s weekends.
Chocolate and camping go hand in hand as most people who have enjoyed a camping trip with friends and family have had smores. Those are the camp fire treats made from graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows that have been cooked over the fire. These yummy delights could be made more healthy and less fattening with the new sugar that Nestle is developing.
Many people will welcome the new sugar. It has been estimated that every day, more than one billion people around the world indulge in some chocolate. The average European will eat 15 pounds of it in a year while the typical American is said to eat about 12 pounds.