Nestlé enzyme tech cuts sugars intrinsically present in malt, milk and fruit juice

Nestlé has introduced a groundbreaking enzymatic process that reduces sugar content in key ingredients without the need for sweeteners or bulking agents to maintain volume. Leveraging this innovative technology, the Swiss food giant can achieve significant sugar reduction while preserving the taste and texture of its products.

Stefan Palzar, Nestlé's chief technology officer, highlighted the importance of sugar reduction across their portfolio and praised the new technology for its ability to accomplish this goal without adding sweeteners, making it cost-effective. The approach targets specific ingredients rather than altering the overall product formulations, enabling its application across various product categories.

By utilising the enzymatic process, Nestlé can reduce intrinsic sugars present in essential raw materials like malt, milk, and fruit juices. For instance, lactose sugar in milk can be reduced, and the process also results in converting the majority of naturally occurring lactose into dietary fibers. Small amounts of lactose and simple sugars remain, making it possible to produce low lactose and skimmed milk-based products while reducing total sugars.

Clinical studies have shown that the dietary fibers generated from lactose conversion can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, leading to a favorable composition of the microbiome in healthy adults. In malt beverages, the intrinsic sugar is maltose, and in fruit juices, it is sucrose. The technology can also produce fructooligosaccharides (FOS) with prebiotic properties in fruit juices.

Nestlé's patented sugar reduction technology was initially piloted in cocoa and malt-based ready-to-drink beverages in Southeast Asia and then expanded to several countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The company plans to extend its use to other product categories, with a focus on exploring dairy powders in the future. This enzymatic process has shown promising results, reducing intrinsic sugar in these ingredients by up to 30%. The company views this innovation as a significant step in achieving its sugar reduction goals across its diverse product range.