National Starch features soluble fiber for beverages at IFT

By Lorraine Heller in Orlando

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: National starch, Dietary fiber

Adding fiber to beverages, dairy products and soups is a major
focus for ingredients giant National Starch, which is featuring a
water soluble fiber product at the ongoing IFT food expo in
Orlando.

Manufactured by French starch ingredient company Roquette, Nutriose soluble fiber became the latest addition to National Starch's portfolio earlier this year after the firm became the exclusive distributor of the product in the US.

According to National Starch, Nutriose is an excellent complement to its Hi-Maize resistant starch insoluble fiber, and is ideally suited for high moisture applications such as beverage and dairy products.

The ingredient, a patented family of high-purity soluble fibers made from corn and wheat, can allow manufactures to make 'good source' or 'excellent source' of fiber claims on their products, meaning that these would contain 2.5g or 5g of fiber per serving, said National Starch.

It can also be used to a level of up to 70 per cent in concentrated products such as syrups and beverage emulsions.

In addition, the ingredient is marketed as having a prebiotic effect, meaning it is beneficial for colonic health, claims that were backed up by the publication of additional science presented in Finland earlier this month at the Dietary Fiber 2006 Symposium.

According to National Starch, in the US the ingredient has caused a particular stir amongst beverage manufactures.

"I expect to see a lot of innovation around prebiotic effects and fiber in beverages, as this can be a great way for people to get their fiber source,"​ said Dr Deborah Dihel, business development manager for soluble fiber at National Starch.

"This is an easy way to improve the health of a lot of people in a form that's convenient and well-accepted, as it allows manufacturers to improve their formulations while still producing creative, fun products. It meets consumer demands of wanting it all,"​ she told FoodNavigator-USA.com.

Common sources of fiber include cereals, fruits and vegetables. However, fiber intake may also be improved by increasing the fiber content of foods, although this has so far presented food and beverage manufacturers with two major obstacles. These are a low digestive tolerance and the challenges associated with processing foods fortified with fiber, which can affect the solubility, viscosity, stability and taste of foods.

But according to National Starch, Nutriose withstands these processing challenges, and also has a good digestive tolerance. The product is also marketed as having a good flowability and tolerating heat treatment and pasteurisation.

Indeed, according to market researcher Mintel, the US market in general is seeing a stronger focus on fiber. And beverages fortified with fiber are a natural next step.

Lynn Dornblaser, director of custom solutions with Mintel, recently told FoodNavigator-USA.com sister site NutraIngredients-USA.com that there have been around half a dozen orange juices with added fiber launched on the US market to date.

Interestingly, Mintel data shows that there have been a higher number of fiber-added juices launched in Asia to date (China, Japan, Malaysia and South Korea), and in Spain.

But just last year, PepsiCo's Tropicana launched an orange juice product fortified with fiber in the US. The Pure Premium Essentials product contains FiberSol-2, a corn-derived soluble fiber supplied by Archer Daniel Midland. An 8 oz serving of the juice contains 3g of added fiber, the same as eating the whole fruit.

But National Starch claims that Nutriose contains half the calories of FiberSol, and is also sugar free and GMO free.

The company said a number of manufacturers are currently working with the ingredient, although no products have hit the market as yet.

This year's IFT annual meeting and food expo is taking place in Orlando's Orange County Convention Center. The world's largest event on food ingredients is this year running between June 24-28, and has attracted thousands of food scientists, suppliers and marketers from around the world to learn about the latest ingredients innovations.

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