Tag Archives: Sugar

Nestle to Cut 40% of Sugar in Chocolate

Dark Brown Milk Chocolate

Dark Brown Milk Chocolate

If any women read my geekery or trash there would be a gasp of shear horror that chocolate is being tampered with. Nestle has made what they are calling a breakthrough which could dramatically reduce the amount of sugar in their products. As I said before I call this a chemical shitstorm

In a nutshell they have fiddled with the molecular structure of sugar, to make Sugar 2.0. The simple explanation is they make it dissolve quicker, which I assume make it hit you harder faster and makes you think there’s more sugar than there is. Think a chunk of rock salt, crunch it up with your teeth and salt city. Nestle claim it does not affect the taste at all. 

The problem is, that when when you fiddle with things like this, you don’t know how far reaching the consequences are. What seems ok short term, isn’t long term. Look at various drugs, they are doled out like tictacs, then a few years later they are withdrawn and banned because it goes horribly wrong. 

0-65% Sugar Per Bar

When you consider that Chocolate is about 45-65% sugar on average, it varies depending on brands and white, milk or dark, some of which is dairy sugar, but raw and pure chocolate can have virtually no sugar at all but most people would find it very bitter. Various companies have come up with tricks like using sea salt or chilli peppers in an attempt to reduce sugar and balance the bitterness, and some of them are good. 

What is not clear is, they say 40% sweeter, but don’t clarify if this is 40% less calories or physical mass. Which means we won’t know if they will need to add some other filler to regain the size or yet again reduce the size of the bar. We also don’t know if it will reduce the calorie content, I would guess it would. 

Dairy Milk 36g Bar   Berliner Doughnut (Waitrose)
  Current Style Sugar 2.0      Current Style Sugar 2.0 
Energy 191kcal 159kcal   Energy  461 421kcal
Fat 11g     Fat 21.1  
Protein 2.7g     Protein 8.4  
Carbs 20.5g     Carbs 59.3  
Sugar 20g 12g   Sugar 25.6 15.36

Looking at the potential above, which assumes it achieves 40% calorie reduction, 32 calories doesn’t seem alot, but its actually about 17% reduction overall in the Dairy Milk. I assume this Sugar molecule can be used in all manner of other goodies, so I applied it to the unhealthiest thing I’ve eaten in a long time.

The Halo Effect 

On the grande scheme of calories the difference isn’t all that impressive, but sugar impact, its impressive. Gets more impressive when applied to sugary drinks. 

I hadn’t heard it call the Halo Effect, but had heard the theory. The theory is that when someone is perceived as having been made healthy, people double up the amount. Fruit is the usual suspect, tell someone an Orange is healthy, I eat 10 of them and gram for gram of sugar they may as well have eaten a 4 pack of mars bars. 

Even Professor Julian Cooper form Nestle highlighted this problem when he said “This is good science. A lot of people have been look at sugar trying to reduce the amount.” he added that there is a risk that it would give Nestle Products the use the “adapted” sugar the hal0-effect which may lead people to believe they can eat more of it.

HE also went on about protecting the profit margins and nestles patents letting other companies in the idea blah, who cares. Make a fuss that since 2007 you (Nestle) have been reducing sugar (and product size) then in the next breath blurt out, its about the money. 


Chocolate Bar image courtesy of Kaboom.

Tesco Reacts to Sugar Tax

Sugar Cubes by Maria Kaloudi

Sugar Cubes

A while ago I posted about the Sugar Tax and my belief its missing the spot. Its like aiming for the double bull eye and hitting the single. In a nutshell, the whole objective officially is to cut the amount of sugar and reduce the impact on childhood obesity. This only appears to apply to fizzy drinks and the likes not to milk based products, and milk based is subjective. Unofficially I think its all about raising more government funds but what do I know. 

Tesco is currently making a song and dance completing the initiative it started on 5 years ago in 2011. This initiative were to cut sugar in its extensive range of soft drinks to below 5g of sugar per 100ml. They announced last week that now their complete range of over 250 drinks have been reformulated to be, below the tax threshold. It should really be commended as it were the first to commit and has one of the biggest range, but that doesn’t make me like the sugar tax end of. 

I haven’t tried many of Tescos offerings, but I have tried Aldi’s Vive range, their Pepsi Max (Cola XC) equivalent is quite nice but seems to lose fizz quickly, their British Blackcurrant is amazing, I wouldn’t have known I were drinking a low sugar version. I have tried many of Morissons products including Iron Bru, Shandy, Cherryade and they are all quite nice and with ice are passable as normal full sugar versions. 

I will make an effort to sample some of Tescos’ goodies and report back.

Chemical S#!tstorm

The more I think about this, the more it bothers me about what is going to replace the sugar. Last time we made a huge change, Low Fat vs High Sugar its come back to kick us in the groin… HARD!. Using Aspartame already has a number of health claims, as do various other “sweeteners”. So what are they using to try and maintain the taste and what far into future reaching side effects will they create ? 

My money says none of them have simply lowered the sugar content without adding a heap of chemicals to keep it just as sweet.

I call this a “Chemical Shitstorm”. 

Study’s in Quality

There were a study, I don’t remember exactly what or when I read it. In this study they reduced the quality of a product very slowly over a number of months. So say it started 100%, after 6 months it were down to 50%. It were determined almost without exception none of the test subjects really noticed. The interesting thing were after the study concluded and the people were told about it, a large amount preferred the new lower quality item over the original high quality item. 

There were talk at the time about this is how the body adjusts to various diets and why some people can eat stuff which makes some sick but not others. Milk were bandied around too, since its estimated that nearly every person on the planet is lactose intolerant given a high enough dose. However the more you drink, the more tolerance you grow. Salt were another named, when various peoples salt levels were slowly increased and anothers decreased, over time people didn’t notice.

Surely this would have been a better strategy rather than the current method?

Suspect Numbers from WHO

The numbers from the World Health Organisation seem suspect to me. They say sugar reduction of 20% would reduce childhood obesity by a fifth. A fifth also happens to be 20%, so a 20% reduction produces a 20% reduction, so why not say 50% reduction would produce 50%.

The fact they chose to mix the words, 20% in one point and a fifth elsewhere irks me. The fact the numbers are the same is also questionable, I haven’t looked too deeply into this as its not a major point of my blog, but it does strike questions for me. 


Sugar Cube photo by Maria Kaloudi.

Sugar Tax Hitting the Wrong Spot

Caramel Coffee by Razman CalimanWe’ve all read about the sugar tax being applied to fizzy drinks, which is all well and good. However the tax is bollocks, if they were applying the sugar tax and using the money generated to offset healthier options that would be fine.

Instead the sugar tax just vanishes into the government coffers and is probably spent on more champagne at the government party conference instead.

Action on Sugar

Action on Sugar is a campaign group with the goal of reducing the countries sugar intake, they have a fair bit of pull with both producers and government bodies. They surveyed the most sugar filled drinks, and posted the results here… (and images below).

Are Coca Cola or Fanta the big bad sugar demons or were the sugar highs found elsewhere ?

I wasn’t quite expecting the result to be as it is. Action on Sugar investigated 131 popular hot drinks, and calculated the sugars contained within each of them according to the venue selling them.

The biggest were 99g, which is 3 times the amount contained in a can of coca cola (33g).

The top 20 drinks, with 45% (9) of them being from Starbucks, 40% (8) from Costa Coffee, 10% (2) from KFC and 5% (1) from Cafe Nero, only 1 of them had less than 50g of sugar, and that is only 0.7g less at 49.3g.

Sugar Tax Exempt

There are two bands of tax based on the total sugar contained in the drinks. Medium Sugar at 5 grams and over per 100 millilitres, and High Sugar at over 8 grams per 100 millilitres. The actual rate of taxation is expected to be between 18-24 pence per litre, up to about 50p per standard 2 litre bottle.

The problem is, these hot drinks won’t be subject to the sugar tax, they are exempt.

The biggest were the “Hot Mulled Fruit Venti” from Starbucks, which contains 14.5 grams per 100 millilitres, which is nearly 50% more than Coca Cola at 10g per 100ml, and nearly double the upper sugar tax limit. Yet still Starbucks and Costa Coffee remain exempt from the sugar tax.

A Better Idea


Lazytown – Magnus Scheving

One of my friends says we need to stop tampering with foods so much and return them back to a more natural state.

Magnus Scheving the man behind Lazy Town who is 52 years old, kind of agrees. He uses the example along the lines of you take a fish from the sea and eat it raw its 100% good, steam the fish its 80% good, batter it in breadcrumbs and fry it its 40% good, process the left overs, mash it up, and reform it into fish cakes, roll it in breadcrumbs, deep fry it, and its practically worthless.

The more you process something from its original state the less it becomes worth nutritionally speaking. Given the dude is over 50 and looking damned good, dude may just have a point.

I’m not entirely sure this is what my friend meant, since they were talking about processing foods breaking down natural properties then having to replace said properties and augment tastes with additives but the message is similar. I think my friends idea is an almost an impossible thing to change quickly.

Healthier Options WILL be Taxed

Surely it would be a better idea, if the Tax were calculated, and the supermarkets applied the discount to alternatives. So Diet Coke would be 50p cheaper per bottle and so on. Make it cheaper to eat and drink healthy options. Instead what is likely to happen instead is everything will just increase.

Full Sugar Coca Cola will go up, 50 pence per bottle and SHOCK HORROR, Diet Coke will also increase by the same amount to maintain parity.

How will sugar tax actually help anyone other than making people poorer by taking more tax… perhaps in another 10 yrs, we’ll say we need more tax on sugar drinks and we can increase diets drink another 50p along with healthier drinks?

Below is the results of the investigation by Action on Sugar.

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Action on Sugar High Sugar Hot Drinks

Caramel Coffee image by Razman Caliman, Sugar Charts by Action on Sugar, Lazytown Wallpaper Copyright LazyTown.