If you’re trying to cut down on sugar, adding a little vanilla to your hot chocolate will help make it seem sweeter, with less sugar

Penn State researchers found that adding vanilla to sweetened milk makes consumers think the beverage is sweeter, allowing the amount of added sugar to be reduced.

They plan on using vanilla to help make healthier reduced-sugar chocolate milk drinks for the National School Lunch Program in the US.

How does it work?

What makes it work is that we associate the smell of vanilla with a sweet taste.

“We are utilising a learned association between an odour and a taste that will allow us to reduce the added sugar content,” says Helene Hopfer, assistant professor of food science. “Reducing added sugar in products, just like reducing fat and salt, is the holy grail of food science.”

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

Addicted to pleasure: Sugar – Episode 1 (BBC)

The blind taste test

In a blind taste test participants who did not know vanilla had been added to the milk consistently indicated that samples with vanilla were significantly sweeter than their added sugar concentrations could explain.

This means that adding vanilla allows one to potentially reduce the sugar content of a milky drink by 20 to 50 per cent without noticing the difference.

That’s great news for anyone trying to appease a sweet tooth, while consuming less sugar!

Cut the sugar – The simplest diet you’ll ever find

Source: Penn State www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.