Looking beyond traditional fiber

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14 Aug 2017 --- Adding fiber to finished foods is big business and one substantial change in terms of fiber in recent years is the sheer scale and diversity of fiber sources. Back in the day, fiber was associated with “regularity”, however thinking about dietary fiber in terms of the overall health and well-being benefits that it can bring is the new order and food innovators across a multitude of categories are tapping into high/source fiber claims

Sourcing fiber takes manufacturers all over the world and across a myriad of dietary sources – fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, whole grains, nuts, ancient grains, legumes and more. 

So, what ingredients are tracking and how are companies targeting a thriving marketplace by using high/source of fiber claims?

Dietary fiber
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods the body cannot digest or absorb, but unlike other food components, like fats, proteins or carbohydrates (which the body breaks down and absorbs), fiber is not digested by the body. 

Functionality and nutrition are driving factors for fiber. And now, a major benefit for companies wanting to pack in fiber is that they have a much larger toolbox to experiment with in order to enhance nutrition and create a better taste. 

Product innovations
Innova Market Insights has tracked some relatively new product developments, assessing innovations in the baked goods category and how significant high/source of fiber claims are in this segment. 

According to its data, there is clearly growing demand for fiber ingredients, with steady increases in the use of such claims in recent product activity. In each of the bread, savory biscuits/crackers and sweet biscuits/ cookies categories, the numbers of new products carrying fiber claims more than doubled between 2011 and 2015.

The rise of fiber claims has been strongest in sweet biscuits and cookies, coinciding with the rise of breakfast biscuits in this sector and a growing interest in healthier snacking. Between 2011 and 2015, the number of sweet biscuit/cookie launches to carry fiber claims rose at a CAGR of 19 percent, compared with 16 percent annual increases in bread and savory biscuits/crackers. 

Looking at Innova Market Insights statistics for new product development from January through September 2016, the rise continued, with high/source of fiber bread launches proving to be 25 percent higher than in the same period of 2015, as were sweet biscuits/cookies launches, while savory biscuits/crackers introductions with fiber claims were 13 percent up on the same period of 2015.

Health positioning continues to be an important focus for many new high sources of fiber products, including biscuits, cookies, bread with Andean grains, gluten-free protein bites, breakfast cereals and mueslis with specific health advantages delivered by "super" ingredients, as well as fiber-packed beverages. 

Earlier in the summer, experts in transforming crops into products, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) showcased its ingredients portfolio and sample products during the 2017 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Expo. One stand-out fiber-filled product was a plant-power frappe featuring 10 grams of plant-based protein per serving, six grams of fiber per serving and Colors from Nature.

And just last week, ADM Milling, part of ADM, introduced a wholesome multi-seed concentrate with ancient grains in response to growing consumer demand for wellness-focused foods. It has extended its portfolio of flours and bakery ingredients with the UK launch of this premium quality bread mix blended from wheat flour and a variety of seeds and ancient grains. 

The new multi-seed mix can be combined with wholemeal, white or malted flours to help bakers diversify their portfolio in line with the latest consumer trends.

ADM Milling’s multi-seed concentrate with ancient grains contains five different seeds, including brown and golden linseeds; sunflower; pumpkin and poppy seeds; and four ancient grains: millet, chia seed, amaranth and quinoa. Typically perceived by consumers as being high in protein and all-important fiber, the addition of these ingredients helps bakers create products that satisfy the demands of health-minded shoppers.

“With a growing interest in more wellness-focused lifestyles, the demand for healthier and nutrient-enriched bread varieties continues to grow,” says Peter Hayes, national sales manager, Bakery at ADM. “In particular, the trend towards preferences for more natural and wholesome products has resulted in an increase in global product launches of baking ingredients and mixes containing ancient grains.”

“Bakers can, therefore, leverage these premium ingredients to create differentiation in a highly competitive market. One way of doing this is by using specialty flours and mixes that offer manufacturers a simple way to deliver ancient grain and seed blends.”

The second part of this report is available here

By Gaynor Selby 

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