Improving digestive health, part 7

by Laurie Gorton
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Soluble dietary fiber aids digestive health and fosters satiety. In this exclusive Q&A, Peggy Steele, global business director, DuPont Nutrition & Health, Madison, WI, describes how to use polydextrose, a soluble dietary fiber, to achieve the health-and-wellness benefits of soluble dietary fiber. It also improves reduced-sugar and sugar-free foods, including those suitable for diabetics.

How does dietary fiber foster better digestive health in humans? Can you share recent research that supports this capability or describes mechanism for this activity?

Peggy Steele: Fiber is an integral part of many natural foods such as grains, cereal products, fruit and vegetables, but individuals are simply not consuming enough of these fiber rich foods as part of the modern diet to maintain regularity and optimum digestive health.

More than 25 years of research and over 30 clinical studies have substantiated the physiological benefits of Litesse polydextrose as a soluble fiber and its positive effects in relation to bowel function. Due to its complex structure, polydextrose is unique in that it is slowly and incompletely fermented throughout the colon, which leads to many positive health benefits, including: optimal pH within the colon, reduced carcinogenic compounds throughout the colon, improved bowel function and minimal gas production. In contrast, other prebiotic fibers are digested quickly and completely in the upper portion of the colon, which can cause significant gas production and result in digestive stress

Studies also indicate that Litesse has prebiotic properties. As a non-digestible soluble fiber, Litesse is slowly and consistently fermented throughout the colon, selectively stimulating the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidiobacteria and Lactobacilli, while suppressing the amount of detrimental bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The positive effects of Litesse on modulation of the gut microflora are apparent at doses as low as 4 g per day. Prebiotic ingredients are complementary to probiotics, which are live microbial ingredients that also improve the balance of intestinal microflora.

Other facts of note: Litesse promotes satiety, can be used in reduced-sugar or sugar-free applications, and is well-tolerated and suitable for diabetics.

Litesse is a highly flexible, soluble fiber and food ingredient. At only 1 Cal per g, Litesse offers significant potential for reducing calories and adding fiber without impacting the consumer appeal of the end product in terms of taste and texture. Available in liquid and powder form and with excellent process and shelf stability, Litesse has found success across all segments of the food and beverage industry, where it is recognized for its clean taste, ease of formulation and low cost in use.

Because all of DuPont Nutrition & Health ingredients are scientifically backed, we have a lot of research supporting the efficacy of our products.

What do formulators need to know about the way these ingredients perform during preparation and processing? Are there limits — regulatory and/or practical — on usage levels in formulations?

Increasing the fiber content of foods and beverages can represent sensory challenges as some fibers significantly affect the taste and viscosity of the food even at low levels. Litesse is a highly flexible, soluble fiber and food ingredient. At only 1 Cal per g, Litesse offers significant potential for reducing calories and adding fiber without impacting the consumer appeal of the end product in terms of taste and texture. Litesse works well in many baked goods, cereal and nutritional bar applications, where it is recognized for its clean taste, ease of formulation and low cost in use. It’s available in liquid and powder form and has excellent process and shelf stability.

Litesse is safe and has no ADI (acceptable daily intake). It is also a uniquely well tolerated fiber because it is slowly and consistently fermented throughout the colon. Indeed, Litesse does not cause discomfort when consumed up to 90 g per day, making it the ideal choice for fiber fortification.

Are your ingredients better in some applications than others? What types of baked foods and snacks make the best use of these materials?

Litesse is very versatile and thanks to its high solubility, neutral taste and excellent stability it can be incorporated in many foods and drinks such as bread, breakfast cereals, cakes, biscuits, extruded snacks or snack bars. Due to its unique technical properties, Litesse can act as a humectant in high moisture products such as cakes and muffins enabling to maintain for a longer period the characteristic moistness of such products. Conversely, thanks to its high glass transition temperature, in low moisture systems such as extruded snacks and breakfast cereals, Litesse helps increasing the crispiness (and bowl life) of these types of products.

What do you hear from customers and consumers about the finished products made with these ingredients? How well have they been accepted in the marketplace?

One key attribute of Litesse is its recognized high toleration. This allows the formulation of high fiber products which are also consumer friendly and which encourage repeat purchase based on a foundation of trust with consumers. In addition, the clean taste aids in this consumer acceptance. Other consumer benefits come in the form of a low-caloric load and the fact that it has a low glycemic index.

What ingredients does DuPont Nutrition & Health offer that help create such applications in the baked foods and snacks categories?

DuPont Nutrition & Health's portfolio in the area of digestive health includes probiotics, prebiotics and fibers. One of the most prominent ingredients in our digestive health portfolio is Litesse polydextrose.

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