CARLISLE'S biscuit manufacturer McVitie's is making massive changes to its biscuit range.

Brace your tastebuds because the firm has announced that its slashing the sugar in many of its family favourites including the world famous Chocolate Hobnob.

Its reducing content by about 10 per cent in nine of its confectionary varieties and claims to have performed the feat "without compromising taste" or "dunkability".

The new version of the Original Digestives for example contains 9 per cent less sugar and 5 per cent less salt.

The firm says it's even made sure biscuit lovers get the same experience when dunking the biscuits in tea, by using a mechanical dunking arm in a laboratory to record the time it took for the biscuits to break.

The firm hopes to remove 785 tonnes of sugar from UK diets every year.

The new and improved biscuits ranges include:

  • Original Digestives;
  • Rich Tea;
  • Chocolate Digestives, milk and dark varieties;
  • Original Hobnobs;
  • Chocolate Hobnobs, milk and dark varieties;
  • Caramel Digestives; and
  • Ginger Nuts - which make up over 50 per cent of all sales in the UK.

The Original Digestives have already hit the shelves with the other biscuit brands to follow shortly.

Public Health England has set the target of 26.2g of sugar per 100g and the biscuits now contain:

  • Original Digestives,15.1g of sugar per 100g;
  • Rich Tea biscuits, 18.5g;
  • Original Hobnobs, 22.9g;
  • Milk Chocolate Digestives, 28.5g sugar; and
  • Dark Chocolate Digestives at 26.6g.

The new recipes have been achieved through a re-balancing of ingredients while trying to keep the taste.

The research and development team has tested the changes on hundreds of biscuit lovers.

David Murray, managing director of pladis, the firm's owner, said: "We have an incredibly loyal fan base who have grown up eating our biscuits, so if they no longer liked the taste then the whole programme would fail.

“For years, we have been working on reducing sugar in the nation’s favourite biscuits.

"It is an exceptionally complex process because our fundamental philosophy is that we will absolutely not compromise on taste or the quality of ingredients.

“We know that if we are to truly help the nation lead healthier lives, we need to take sugar out of our biggest-selling biscuits.

“By testing our new lower-sugar biscuits with hundreds of consumers to ensure that they cannot tell the difference, and by implementing a process of careful rebalancing of ingredients, we have reduced sugar and salt while maintaining the unique sweet and savoury taste combination that makes McVitie’s biscuits so distinctive.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: “We’re pleased that McVitie’s is the latest household name to commit to offering healthier products.

“This announcement shows reducing sugar in biscuits is possible and we look forward to seeing further reductions in the future.”