This week, the BBC reports, Nestlé announced that its researchers have discovered a way to restructure sugar. This will allow company confectioners to reduce the sweet stuff in chocolate products by as much as 40 percent, they claim.

Chocolate candy isn’t the biggest source of sugar in the average American’s diet (that would be soda), and for the most part, people know they’re not doing their bodies any favors by eating it. But since recent studies link added sugars in foods to an increased risk for obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, confectioners have new incentive to provide customers with reduced sugar options. Until now, a tricky question remained: Could they do so without sacrificing flavor?

Nestlé thinks so. According to the company, their scientists have developed a method of altering sugar’s structure. “It is sugar, but it is assembled differently so it can disassemble easily in your mouth with less going into your gastrointestinal tract,” Dr. Stefan Catsicas, Nestlé’s chief technology officer, told The New York Times. This reportedly allows food companies to use less of it in products. And considering a single Kit Kat bar contains almost all of your added sugar intake for one day (the candy contains 21 grams of sugar, while the the American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 24 to 36, depending on your gender), this reduction could go a long way toward combating the U.S.'s obesity epidemic.

Nestlé hasn’t divulged the secret to its breakthrough technology and is currently pursuing patents. However, the company expects to begin using its new, reformulated sugar in products from 2018 onwards. Eventually, Nestlé might also sell it to other companies for use. Keep in mind, however, that Nestlé’s emerging sugar technology won’t be able to replace all sugar; it can't be used to sweeten soda or coffee, for starters.

[h/t BBC News]