Food giant Nestle claims it has found a method to almost halve the amount of sugar in its chocolate.

The chocolate manufacturer, famed for KitKats, has revealed it has found a way to reduce the amount of sugar in chocolate by as much as 40 per cent.

It comes as food producers face increasing pressure from governments, health advocates and shoppers to make products healthier.

The confectioner has developed a process to alter the structure of sugar that makes it taste sweeter in smaller amounts, according to its Chief Technology Officer Stefan Catsicas.


He said Nestle is due to start selling its confectionery products using the new process in 2018 and will gradually reduce its sugar content.

"We want people to get used to a different taste, a taste that would be more natural," Mr Catsicas said.

"We really want to be the drivers of the solution."

Mr Catsicas did not expand on what the process involves but likened it to making sugar crystals that are hollow.

He added: "The crystals dissolve more quickly, stimulating the taste buds faster.

"Unprocessed food has complex structures, which Nestle is trying to mimic by distributing the sugar in a less uniform way.

"If you look with an electron microscope into an apple, that's exactly what you see."

"Real food in nature is not something smooth and homogeneous. It's full of cavities, crests and densities. So by reproducing this variability, we are able to restore the same sensation."

Nestle is presently seeking to patent the sugar-reduction process.

It comes as the World Health Organisation has recommended increasing the price of sugary drinks by 20 per cent to reduce consumption by a fifth.