Fazer’s low-FODMAP bread: ‘When patented innovation becomes meaningful innovation’

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Fazer's patented enzyme has allowed it to develop its first low-FODMAP bread / Pic: GettyImages-Magone
Fazer's patented enzyme has allowed it to develop its first low-FODMAP bread / Pic: GettyImages-Magone

Related tags FODMAP Bakery Fazer

Finnish food group Fazer has developed LOFO, an enzyme-based solution that unlocks the door to low-FODMAP baking. The first breads made using this patented innovation have hit the shelves in Finland.

Low-FODMAP is often tipped as the next big think in stomach health. FODMAP is an acronym for ‘Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides And Polyols’ - short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine. Consumption of foods high in FODMAPs are recognised as a potential explanation for digestive disorders, including irritable bowl syndrome.

Finland’s Fazer, which has set its sites on growth in Northern Europe and beyond, is focusing its innovation efforts on ‘in-depth consumer insight’ that it aims to turn into ‘innovative products and meaningful food experiences’.

“Increasing consumer-centricity and innovations are at the core of Fazer’s ambitious growth strategy. Fazer wants to offer sustainable solutions to support the well-being of consumers,”​ the company said.

As part of its efforts to ‘support consumer’s quest for well-being’, in 2018 the company developed a unique enzyme-based solution that enables the development of low-FODMAP recipes in wheat and rye baking.

Fazer developed a technological solution and managed to develop a sourdough in which fructans (the FODMAP carbs in bread) were completely eliminated. The first lower-FODMAP rye bread based on this special sourdough was developed.

“We discovered that the sourdough and its specific lactobacilli contained the fructanase enzyme. The enzyme breaks down the wheat and rye fructans into a more easily digestible form during the breadmaking process,”​ explained Fazer head of research Jussi Loponen.

Now, the company has launched its first low-FODMAP bread on its domestic market. Fazer Vatsaystävällinen Pehmeä is the first stomach-friendly bread to be baked utilising the unique Fazer LOFO enzyme.

The new bread novelty aims to allow consumers with gut symptoms the opportunity to enjoy fresh bread without the discomfort that could be caused by the FODMAPs in traditional bread recipes.

“We’re extremely happy that our long-term work is being commercialised. This is the point where a patented invention really becomes a meaningful innovation. I believe that the Fazer LOFO solution can address the needs of many consumers, and help them enjoy tasty and healthy bread again,​” Loponen continued.

The next gluten-free?

With 20% of consumers reporting that they avoid bread for the sake of their stomachs, Fazer said that FODMAPs are a potential – but relatively unknown – explanation.

FODMAPs are poorly digestible short-chain carbohydrates that can cause digestion-related symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating, gas production and general discomfort.

“Low-FODMAP products are therefore expected to become the next big thing in stomach wellness – a game changer in the market for baked goods for digestive well-being,”​ Fazer predicted.

Indeed, in bakery, Fazer said low-FODMAP could be ‘the next gluten-free’.

According to one study, published in Gastroenterology​, fructan, rather than gluten, was identified as the wheat compound that triggers the unexplained symptoms that people with non-celiac wheat sensitivity may experience.

“In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of individuals with self-reported non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, we found fructans to induce symptoms, measured by the GSRS-IBS,”​ the researchers concluded.

Fazer also stressed that its low-FODMAP bread offers a ‘superior’ organoleptic profile to gluten-free options on the market: “Compared to gluten-free bread, low-FODMAP bread has a superior and natural bread taste, texture and aroma – among the most important attributes of bread.”

The company noted its LOFO enzyme is clean label and non GMO. It is proven to decrease fructan content by more than 50% in baked goods without impacting taste or texture.

Fructan, Rather Than Gluten, Induces Symptoms in Patients With Self-Reported Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Authors: Gry I Skodje, Vikas K Sarna, Ingunn H Minelle, Kjersti L Rolfsen, Jane G Muir, Peter R Gibson, Marit B Veierød, Christine Henriksen, Knut E A Lundin
DOI: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.10.040 

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