By Whitney Webb
Nestlé, the world’s largest food company, has been the focus of international scrutiny for its exploitation of freshwater resources, use of child slave labor, and severe environmental violations. However, the corporate behemoth, which manages over 8,000 different brands, is making headlines for a different reason this week after announcing that they have “reformulated” sugar. Nestlé scientists claim to have chemically restructured the sugar molecule, creating a new sweetener they claim tastes sweeter in smaller amounts as it dissolves and stimulates taste buds more quickly. This “breakthrough” could allow them – and other food companies – to significantly reduce the amount of sugar in their products. Nestlé has said that they will be cutting sugar content by as much as 40% in some products once they begin introducing the new sweetener in 2018. The “reinvented” sugar – dubbed “sugar lite” by the New York Times – would be used chiefly in candy products as, for still unknown reasons, it cannot be used to sweeten soda or other beverages.
However, Nestlé has released hardly any information about their discovery and how it was achieved. Citing patent concerns, Nestlé has dodged specifying the processed sugar undergoes in order to become “sugar lite,” instead offering only absurdly vague explanations. Nestlé’s chief technology officer (and former GlaxoSmithKline executive) told the New York Times:
“Dr. Catsicas compared a normal crystal of sugar to a shoe box, where the box is made of sugar and everything inside it is also made of sugar. The new sugar, he said, will be processed to have the same sugar exterior — though it may be a globe instead of a box — to dissolve in the mouth. Because less sugar is inside, less goes to the stomach.”