I’m sitting in a lab in Petach-Tikva, a neighborhood northeast of Tel Aviv. In front of me are three food items on a platter: A plain cookie, chocolate spread, and a piece of solid chocolate. I’m told there’s something very special about these otherwise common treats.
I pick them up one-by-one and take a nibble, but struggle to say anything illuminating. And that’s the best thing about these foods, I quickly realize. They are a multi-billion-dollar idea precisely because they taste so normal.
What’s special is that these three items—the cookie, the spread, and the chocolate—were made with 40%, 40%, and 30% less sugar respectively than the conventional versions you can find at just about any grocery or convenience store in the Western world. And no, they’re not made with artificial sweeteners or alternatives like stevia, but with the most common mineral on the planet. And this is a big deal, because it perhaps solves one of the biggest problems the global food industry has grappled with for decades.