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Health & Nutrition

The health and wellness movement continues to resonate well with consumers and is forecasted to lead the way for years to come. Linked with soaring consumer demand for weight-management products and digestive health ingredients, there will be an increased emphasis on caloric content and physiological benefits of food and beverage products. Inclusion of resistant starch in the definition of dietary fiber by Codex Alimentarius and regulatory agencies of many countries prompted more interest in the use of fiber as an ingredient for weight management and digestive health.

In the fiber arena, consumers are meeting only half of the recommended daily intake of 25-30 grams of fiber. Around 80% of Americans are trying to increase their fiber intake. The fiber-enhanced food and beverage market is in its infancy, providing ample growth for almost all fiber-fortified food and beverage categories. Hence, consumer packaged goods companies and food ingredient companies continue to pursue dietary fiber research and product development. Furthermore, novel fibers, which include resistant starch, are gaining attention among formulators due to their versatility and invisibility in foods and beverages and their potential in addressing metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic Syndrome is a set of disorders that significantly increases an individual’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Major components include elevated waist circumference (central obesity), high blood pressure, high triglycerides, reduced HDL cholesterol, and elevated fasting glucose. Poor gut health resulting from insufficient fiber in the diet may also lead to the development of colon cancer. The economic burden posed by these medical conditions significantly lowers people’s quality and length of life. A better understanding of the role of the diet and impact of food ingredients in disease prevention is necessary to reduce the physical and economic consequences of these diseases.

MGP’s Fibersym® RW, a resistant wheat starch, was developed as a dietary fiber source for a number of consumer food products. It has been shown in humans to attenuate blood glucose when consumed as a drink and to blunt blood glucose and insulin responses when consumed as a nutritional bar. Its positive impact on gut microbiota composition and metabolism was demonstrated during a 17-week feeding study using human volunteers. In addition to the above-mentioned physiological benefits, Fibersym® RW displayed gas and short-chain fatty acid productionafter in vitro fermentation with fresh human fecal inoculum.

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