Nestlé has announced that they have found a way to keep their chocolate as sweet as ever while reducing its sugar content by 40 per cent. And if the method – which allows sugar to dissolve faster and thus taste more intense – becomes standard, it could have a significant effect in reducing obesity.

A spokesman for Nestlé says that, ‘Using only natural ingredients, researchers have found a way to structure sugar differently. So even when much less is used in chocolate, your tongue perceives an almost identical sweetness to before. The new faster-dissolving sugar will enable Nestlé to significantly reduce the total sugar in its confectionery products, while maintaining great taste’.

The company is hoping to apply the eco-friendly technology to its products by 2018, and the move has been welcomed by experts. Professor Julian Cooper, an independent food technology consultant, told the BBC that the development was important. (‘This is good science. A lot of people have been looking at sugar trying to reduce the amount.’) However, he did caution against a so-called ‘halo-effect’ that might lead consumers to eat more instead of being satisfied with the new-found benefits.