Looking beyond traditional fiber – innovation and consumer attitudes

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15 Aug 2017 ---  One company that continues to trailblaze in terms of fiber is Ingredion, which late last year launched new fiber ingredients derived from potato and corn, neither of which has yet figured prominently in the fiber enrichment of baked goods. The VERSAFIBE 2470 and 1490 dietary fibers are designed for fiber fortification and calorie reduction in pasta and noodles, baked goods (such as bread, crackers and cookies) and extruded products. They are versatile, process stable, insoluble resistant starch ingredients and can be added with little to no impact on product texture, flavor or color. They can help manufacturers deliver such claims as "good source of fiber" or "excellent source of fiber" as well as "gluten-free," according to the company. You can read the first part of this report here

VERSAFIBE 2470 is a corn based fiber, while VERSAFIBE 1490 is a grain-free ingredient derived from potato.

“We continue to experience an increased demand for fiber fortification and calorie and carbohydrate reduction in the retail and foodservice space,” says Igor Playner, Ingredion’s vice president of innovation and strategy, North America. 

Click to Enlarge“By formulating with VERSAFIBE 2470 and 1490 dietary fibers, food developers now have the ability to meet the demand for higher-fiber products with ingredients that are practically invisible to consumers in terms of texture, flavor and color.”

Ingredion already has a robust portfolio of fibers for health and nutrition, including HI-MAIZE resistant starch, a clean label alternative for blood sugar management and energy balance, NUTRAFLORA prebiotic soluble fiber for digestive support and NUTRIOSE soluble fiber for satiety and weight management benefits.

“VERSAFIBE dietary fiber is a synergistic companion to our product lineup,” notes Playner. “It has many functional attributes such as low cost-in-use fiber fortification, is easy to use, highly tolerant and provides a great eating experience in higher-fiber bakery products, snacks and pasta. That’s a winning combination,” adds Playner. 

Fiberstar Inc. is another pioneer in terms of functional fiber with its recent launch of Citri-Fi 125, a natural citrus fiber used to improve tomato-based food products by replacing starches and gums in sauces, condiments and spreads. 

As consumers connect ingredients to the foods they eat by reading food labels, they expect recognizable, short and transparent labels, which are driving the need for clean label ingredients – and this is where Citri-Fi 125 comes in. 

“Citri-Fi, a natural citrus fiber created from the orange juicing process, is benefiting from the plant-based food trend. Many customers use this natural fiber in combination with other plant-based ingredients such as vegetable proteins, oils, starches and other fibers to improve the texture, quality and food labeling declaration,” says Fiberstar’s Jennifer Stephens, VP of Marketing.

“Citri-Fi can be labeled as 'citrus fiber,' 'dried citrus pulp' or 'citrus flour.' This natural fiber qualifies under the new FDA dietary fiber definition; therefore, it contributes fiber to food products.”Click to Enlarge

Although consumers are making more of an effort to either choose high fiber foods and beverages or perhaps take it as a supplement, there is still a gap between the recommended intake and current average intake of dietary fiber for the average person. 

Consumer attitudes towards fiber
Recently a large scale investigation into Irish eating trends, diets, grocery shopping and general attitudes towards food, highlighted how health and well-being are more important than ever before in the perception of consumers.

The food attitudes study, carried out by Bord Bia (the Irish Food Board), provides a snapshot of attitudes and is a very interesting piece of research that shows how attitudes towards food have and continue to change. Carried out across eight countries – Ireland and the UK, four Continental European markets, along with the US and China – it involved more than 8,000 interviews.

One key takeaway from the research is that 84 percent of participants are trying to eat high fiber foods, while 88 percent see protein as an important part of their diet.

By Gaynor Selby

Ingredion Incorporated

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