“Sugar monster” is what we call my son after he’s had too much candy or cake at a birthday party and is all wound up. Yes, I know sugar doesn’t actually make kids hyper, but the term is a way of warning him off overindulging his sweet tooth.
“Eat any more and you’ll turn into a sugar monster,” we’ll say, totally sounding like parents.
But a new technology from Nestlé could automatically give him less sugar when he’s enjoying treats. The company introduced the Milkybar Wowsome this week, which has 30 percent less sugar than comparable bars. Don’t panic, candy lovers! The Wowsome, Nestlé promises, will still taste just as good as the classic Milkybars.
To achieve this wizardry, Nestlé scientists actually restructure the sugar when making the new Wowsomes. Genius Kitchen has a great explainer, likening it to cotton candy:
“Sugar, powdered milk and water are sprayed into hot air, which causes the particles to dry out and stabilize while filled with microscopic holes. This sugar structure causes the sugar to dissolve more quickly upon contact with liquid (in this case, on your tongue). The sugar tastes just as sweet, but since it’s porous, there’s less of it.”
Nestlé said that it will expand the use of this technique to more children’s chocolate brands.
This move is part of a larger global trend of companies looking to reduce the sugar they serve, as consumers become more conscious of what they put in their bodies and lawmakers flex legal muscles to reduce sugar consumption. In the U.S. Pepsi is fighting the soda sales slump with its Drinkfinity line of flavored water. Down under in Australia, Nutrition Innovation has developed Nucane, a “healthier” sugar made by altering the refining process. And Bayn Europe created SugarReduced, an online community and platform that provides tools to help food and beverage producers reduce and replace sugar in their products.
Sadly, Europe is where you need to be if you want to try out the new Milkybar Wowsome. The restructured sugar bar will hit store shelves in the U.K. and Ireland over the next few weeks.
Happily, however, I will definitely seek out and purchase this miracle of modern science while attending our Smart Kitchen Summit Europe in Dublin, Ireland June 11 – 12. Come say hi to me at the show and I’ll share one with you. (No sugar monsters allowed.)