Sugar Adobe Stock 160174373

Nestle Has Quietly Developed an Enzymatic Sugar Reduction Process

July 20, 2023
While the announcement is new, Nestle apparently has been using the process in select locations and applications since 2021.

Nestlé SA has unveiled a process that could help reduce sugar in some products, as well as providing other benefits, including prebiotic fibers.

The enzymatic process reduces intrinsic sugar in ingredients such as malt, milk and fruit juices by up to 30%, with 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 July 14 announcement said.

Although the announcement is new, Nestle apparently has been quietly using the process in select locations and applications since 2021.

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

"Sugar reduction across our portfolio remains a top priority,” said Stefan Palzer, Nestlé’s chief technology officer. “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 process was first piloted in cocoa and malt-based ready-to-drink beverages in Southeast Asia. Over the past year, Nestlé introduced it in factory lines for cocoa and malt-based powdered beverages such as Milo across several countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Since 2021, it’s 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.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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