Nutella has secretly changed its recipe Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Ferrero, the Italian maker of Nutella, has secretly changed the recipe of the beloved chocolate-hazelnut spread and the internet is having a bit of a meltdown. The company admitted this week that it has updated the recipe to include more sugar and powdered skimmed milk after an eagle-eyed German consumer group first noticed the change.

The Verbraucherzentrale Hamburg (Hamburg Consumer Protection Centre) revealed on their Facebook page that Nutella now contains 56.3% sugar, up from 55.9%. It also contains 8.7% powdered skimmed milk as compared to 7.5% earlier, The Independent first reported.

"As the colour of the new Nutella is lighter, we are working on the assumption that skimmed milk powder was added at the expense of cacao," the watchdog noted. Ferrero is not required to reveal the amount of cacao in its Nutella recipe.

Ferrero confirmed the "adjustment" to its recipe but assured customers that the taste and quality of the much-loved sticky spread still remained the same.

"The quality, the sourcing and all other aspects of Nutella ingredients remain the same," Ferrero said in a statement. "The ingredients list is, as usual, displayed on the jar and on the Nutella webpage. All relevant aspects, from a diet perspective, are the same."

Avid Nutella fans, however, were not happy about the changes made and furiously shared their disappointment and outrage on social media.

Many called for a boycott of Nutella using the hashtag #boycottNutella and vowed never to dip into the chocolately spread again.

"This is heartbreaking," one Twitter user wrote. "How dare they tamper with Nutella's recipe? Leave the chocolatey goodness alone," another added.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it," one person tweeted, while another said, "As if things aren't already bad enough in the world."