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Science-based solutions to improve nutritional value

Scientists working

At Nestlé, nutrition is at the core of what we do, and a key priority for us.

As Chief Technology Officer, I am proud of the expertise and work of our teams and am confident of the science-based approach we are taking to nutrition. We continue our intensive work to reduce salt, sugars, and saturated fats in our products. In addition, we put nutrition in the context of balanced diets, looking at products, portion size, meal composition and consumption frequency. We also work to meet specific dietary needs of consumers as those evolve over a lifetime or as a result of specific health conditions.

To achieve this our R&D colleagues develop impactful solutions based on the latest science and technology, in collaboration with world leading academic institutions.

Developing recipes holistically with nutrient profiling and AI

Our peer-reviewed nutrient-profiling system has been helping us to improve the nutritional value of our products for decades. We recently incorporated a new feature to benchmark against the competitive landscape, using an algorithm published in 2021 (Nutrients. 2021 Feb 9;13(2):576). The algorithm considers five nutrients recognized by the World Health Organization: sugars, saturated fat, sodium, fiber and protein. This evolved profiling system is the base of our category specific formulation targets. For any reformulation of existing products and any new product development these targets have to be respected.

When developing new products, we need to consider also regulations, taste, texture, cost, and sustainability, in addition to the nutritional value. Having myself started my Nestlé career in product development over 20 years ago, I have experienced the increasing complexity of developing recipes first-hand. To cope with this significant challenge, we are complementing the expertise of our product developers with AI and data science to define the ideal recipe faster. Our experts have recently developed a connected recipe tool that leverages a database of 120 000 Nestlé recipes predicting the most suitable formulations fulfilling all requirements. Our first innovations based on such AI-assisted formulation will soon hit the market.

Improving nutrient density through new technologies

Along with this holistic approach to recipe development, we also developed an impactful set of new technologies to improve the overall nutritional value of our products in the last years.


We have made significant progress in the development of new technologies that help us reduce health-sensitive nutrients such as sugars and saturated fat with minimal impact on taste and texture. Using an enzymatic process, our new sugar reduction technology reduces intrinsic sugar in key ingredients such as malt or milk by up to 30%, while keeping the taste our consumers love. There is no need to add sweeteners or bulking agents to replace the volume of the eliminated sugars. This allowed us to achieve significant sugar reduction in our beloved Milo beverages across Southeast Asia. 

We are also currently rolling out a new breakthrough fat reduction technology based on milk protein aggregation that allows us to reduce the fat content naturally present in milk by up to 60% while retaining the creaminess and taste of milk. In Brazil, our first reduced-fat Ninho products are hitting the shelves as we speak.

In a recent discovery, we not only reduced sugars naturally present in some of our key raw materials, but also increased positive nutrients at the same time. Our new N3 milk is made from cow's milk and has all the essential nutrients found in milk such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, it contains prebiotic fibers, has a low lactose content and 15% fewer calories. To produce N3 milk, we use a proprietary technology based on the enzymatic conversion of lactose -milk sugar- into prebiotic fibers. Clinical studies showed that these fibers promote the growth of multiple types of bifidobacteria, delivering gut microbiome benefits in healthy adults. This is a great example of our holistic approach to nutrition, where we do not look at single nutrients, but rather the overall nutritional value of a product or ingredient. The Nestlé N3 range also includes some products that are fortified with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to support bone health, muscle growth, and strength, as well as immunity.


For indulgent products we developed new micro-aeration technologies creating invisible air bubbles in chocolate or ice cream, to enhance creaminess without adding fat or calories. This has been introduced in our chocolate products in Latin America. However, we have to acknowledge that improving the nutritional value of products has limitations when it comes to indulgent categories, such as chocolate or confectionery. As consumers are often not willing to compromise on taste, we have decided to take a different approach, focusing on portion size and portion guidance. Our R&D teams are working on an algorithm that allows us to calculate an appropriate portion size at the product development stage to create a clear and credible communication to consumers on-pack. This algorithm considers regulated serving sizes and food-based dietary guidelines from over 90 countries, as well as typical consumption patterns.

Delivering nutritional benefits


Ultimately, nutrition isn't one-size-fits-all. In addition to adapting to changing nutritional needs over a lifetime, we also need to address specific nutritional and dietary requirements linked to specific health conditions. Think of expecting mothers, pre-term babies or aging consumers with sarcopenia or dysphagia. Think of people with food allergies or intolerances, diabetes or cancer patients. That's why our experts at the Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences continue to search for new science-based nutrition solutions for a wide range of nutritional needs, including solutions supporting cognitive and physical performance, gut health and a favorable microbiome composition, and metabolic health – for people and pets of all ages.


In a recent research project, our experts discovered that a specific nutrient blend can have a positive impact on sleep quality, a key driver of healthy aging. We were able to include this nutrient blend in adult milk powders launched in China under our Yiyang brand, as well as in fruit shots in Europe.

Lean Cuisine

To support people managing blood sugar levels, we have developed a line of tasty, nutritious Lean Cuisine Balance Bowls meeting the American Diabetes Association's® (ADA) Better Choices for Life Program guidelines.

Nutrition is at the origin of Nestlé and it remains a key strength of our company. Over many decades, we have built unmatched deep nutritional expertise and technological capabilities. Our aim is to support consumers in their efforts to follow a balanced diet that covers all their nutrients needs, and that is also affordable and pleasurable.

We achieve this through innovative product solutions and credible portion guidance rooted in science.