01 April 2014
Ingredients of the month – GI Balancing Fibres
Fibres can be categorised on the basis of their solubility, viscosity, and fermentability and, depending on the type and/or the origin, they provide different health benefits.
Consumption of dietary fibres found in many whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables provides numerous health benefits. High fibre intake has been shown to aid weight management, and digestive and cardiovascular health. GI regulation has recently come into more nutritional focus as the intake of carbohydrates causing high peaks in blood glucose are considered more detrimental to health; metabolism cannot cope and tends to store the surplus as fat, and insulin balance and activation may be jeopardised by long term sugar peaks in the blood.
The industry has recently started challenging it self to look at formulations that are not sugar free, but rather a modulated way of providing carbohydrate energy that reduces sugar but doesn’t totally exclude it. The principle of a balanced carbohydrate mix is one that all nutritionists are familiar with, but there’s been a lack of relevant educational tools forconsumers; the industry needs options to educate consumers via pack claims. Fortunately, these tools have recently become available for the industry.
Beta-1, 3 (1,4 -glucan), commonly found in oats and barley, is one of the main fibres associated with glycaemic index regulation. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has approved the health claim “Consumption of beta-glucans from oats or barley as part of a meal contribute to the reduction of the blood glucose rise after that meal." An example of other fibres associated with GI regulations isresistant starches. Some studies indicate that consumption of resistant starches compared to other starches tends to improve blood glucose control and reduce the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose). This is largely due to the fact that resistant starches are digested slowly and therefore absorbed into the bloodstream at a much slower rate than other starches.This reduces the sudden glucose peak after a meal and gives a long term balanced blood glucose level instead. There is an EFSA approved health claim that states “Replacing digestible starches with resistant starch in a meal contribute to the reduction of the blood glucose rise after that meal." This claim may be used only for food in which digestible starch has been replaced by resistant starch so that the final content of resistant starch is at least 14% of total starch.
Additionally, science indicates that some resistant starches increase hormones such as peptide tyrosine tyrosine (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) which are associated with satiety, and reduces the craving for more sugar. Other micro nutrients such as Chromium and several polyolsare also efficient in assisting the goal of balancing blood glucose.
Food ingredient fibres that can carry these types of health claims are: Arabinoxylan, Beta-Glucan, HPMC (Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose), Pectins, Resistant starch, Alpha-cyclodextrin and polydextrose.
Ingredient Trend – Mid Calorie Beverages
In Canadean’s Ingredients Product Profiling Team we have observed a large number of new soft drinks that fit into the category of Mid Calorie drinks. This category is defined by EFSA as Beverages containing 21 kcal to 50 kcal per 100ml. Of 360 new soft drinks that entered the market in 2013, 179 (or 50%) were Mid Calorie types.
The activity in large categories such as carbonates, still drinks, juices, and nectars is quite remarkable; these categories are often considered to be the most highly consumed across all categories, and make up the most family packs of drinks that are purchased.
The changing shift in consumer preferences has led major companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Grupo Marin Montejano, Wild, and Foodcare Group to develop Beverages with fewer calories. These reductions have been accomplished by reducing sugars, as seen in several carbonates and energy drinks, or by using a combination of non-caloric sweeteners and sugars, most notable in the carbonates and teas categories.These changes have also been seen in some juices – only spiking sweetness with non-caloric sweeteners –or even changing fruit compositions, as some fruits may contain a lot of sugar. It’s a global trend, but the level of activity is still more profound in markets where there is a seemingly higher awareness among consumers for reading nutritional labels – regions such as North America, Japan, and Europe.
However, sugar reduction developments are also well underway in countries such as Mexico, China, and Russia. Here is a profound sugar reduction strategy towards the large consumer population that may have a long term positive outcome for fighting life style related health conditions such as obesityand diabetes.
Product profiles database, 2014. Source: Canadean