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Scientists Redesign Sugar So Less Of It Tastes Sweeter

Israeli startup DouxMatok has developed a new form of real sugar that has been restructured to taste sweeter. Called Incredo, the redesigned sucrose crystals were patented by Avraham Baniel, an industrial chemist. Knowing that in most foods only about one-fifth of sugar crystals actually connect with a taste receptor (the rest is consumed without tasting it), Baniel decided to mix sugar with tiny grains of silica, a naturally-occurring mineral in foods like bananas and rice. Silica is also an anti-caking agent approved by the FDA and the EU and commonly used in a variety of food products. While an Incredo sugar crystal consists of 98% sucrose, the small percentage of silica exposes more surface area of the sucrose to saliva, increasing the perception of sweetness. The silica also restructures the atoms in each sucrose molecule from a typical orderly lattice to a random “amorphous” structure, causing the sugar to dissolve faster on the tongue and delivering a more intense taste of sweetness. As a result, you can mix 40% less actual sugar into something like a cookie and it will taste as sweet as the original. In third-party blind tastings, more than two-thirds of ordinary consumers preferred cookies made with Incredo over the full-sugar ones, and 74% said they would buy the Incredo version of Nutella instead of the real thing. Later this year, Incredo enters commercial production in food products with Südzucker, Europe’s biggest sugar producer. Incredo will also go into production with one of the leading refined sugar distributors in North America. Get the full story here at the New Yorker.

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