New milk chocolate developed with nearly half sugar of a normal bar

A new milk chocolate bar has been developed that has nearly half the sugar of a normal bar without losing flavour.

The new formulations were developed through the SureChoc project, a partnership between leading industrial bodies and the University of Reading in the UK.

The resulting chocolate bar, which has 44% less sugar than a standard milk chocolate formulation, also has increased fibre and a special type of sugar that enhances sweetness. The new sugar was developed by project partners at DouxMatok, and combines normal sugar alongside a mineral carrier to more efficiently deliver sugar to the taste receptors on the tongue.

In consumer tests run in 2019, 160 regular consumers tried SureChoc milk chocolate, and the consumer liking score was close to the regular product (5.1 versus 5.7 on 7 point scale). Consumers like different levels of sweetness; 28% of consumers found the full sugar product too sweet whereas of 33% consumers found the reduced sugar product not sweet enough.

Professor Lisa Methven, head of the Sensory Science Centre at the University of Reading who leads the SureChoc project said: “Throughout the project we have tested the materials used and the resulting products (chocolate and chocolate chip cookies) at the University of Reading. The aim of the project was not to achieve an exact match in all physical and sensory characteristics, rather to understand the changes and optimise formulations until we have products that are desirable to the final consumer. The tests bear this out, with a similar consumer liking score for a bar with nearly half the amount of sugar as a normal chocolate treat.

“So, for example, the reduced sugar chocolate bar remains slightly less sweet and slightly less sticky than the regular sugar bar; however, the products are much closer in profile than products formulated without the DouxMatok sugar and before optimisation of the high fibre materials used.

“We also found that consumers were very engaged with the idea of buying sugar reduced fibre enriched products. When asked if they would choose a high fibre product 74% said yes for chocolate and 64% for cookies; which increased to 83% and 77% respectively if they knew the high-fibre chocolate was also lower in sugar.”

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