Wanting to add more dietary fiber to foods is one thing, but knowing how to do so is quite another. Here’s advice from Rhonda Witwer, senior business development manager, nutrition, for Corn Products International/National Starch Food Innovation, Bridgewater, NJ, about choosing and working with a variety of such ingredients. This is Part 2 of an interview exclusive to Baking & Snack. Read Part 1 here.

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

Rhonda Witwer: Purimune GOS is stable is a wide variety of food preparation and processing conditions. Because it is highly concentrated, 50% less Purimune is required than other GOS ingredients, which makes it easier to incorporate into foods.

NutraFlora short-chain fructooligosaccharide (scFOS) is consumed by yeast, but losses can be minimized by use of yeast with low invertase activities. It is a gentle fiber and easily tolerated compared with other fermentable fibers. Because its short-chain structure is only consumed by beneficial bacteria, its dose is very low, which is easier to incorporate into foods than other types of prebiotic fibers.

Neither Purimune nor NutraFlora has digestive effects at the recommended levels. Neither NutraFlora nor Purimune contribute viscosity. Both ingredients are slightly sweet.

Hi-maize resistant starch replaces up to 15 to 20% of the flour in food formulations. It has slightly higher water-holding than flour, so only minor adjustments in water are needed. Its low water-holding capacity delivers predictable performance and higher yields. Hi-maize’s granular starch structure produces fine, homogeneous crumb texture in baked goods and snacks, and its bland flavor does not change the taste of baked foods and snacks.

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

Both NutraFlora and Purimune are soluble dietary fibers. Purimune would be preferred over NutraFlora in yeast-based baked foods and snacks as soluble fibers. Hi-maize works well in all types of baked foods and mildly extruded snacks.

NutraFlora is suitable for nutritional bars, bakery (cookie, crackers, muffins) and extruded cereals

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?

NutraFlora and Purimune are well accepted in the market and have been used for their proven health benefits.

Hi-maize is being used in a wide variety of products: breads, snacks, muffins, pasta, pizza crust and gluten free foods. They are very well accepted — especially high fiber, white foods like bread and pasta which deliver the taste and texture of unfortified foods while delivering a boost of health-promoting resistant starch.

NutraFlora is established in the bakery segment and one shining example has been with Barbara’s Bakery Puffins breakfast cereal product. The inclusion of NutraFlora allows the company to make claims such as “Enhances Calcium Absorption”, “Reinforces Immunity” and “Promotes Healthy Digestion,” all of which resonate well with the consumer.

What ingredients do Corn Products and National Starch offer that help create such applications in the baked foods and snacks categories?

Corn Products and National Starch offer several products that promote digestive health: NutraFlora scFOS, Purimune galactooligosaccharides (GOS), Hi-maize resistant starch and Hi-maize whole-grain corn flour.

NutraFlora scFOS delivers 95% prebiotic dietary fiber and is derived from beet or cane sugar using non-GMO ingredients and a traditional natural fermentation method. It is a soft, white powder that is completely soluble in water and about 30% as sweet as sugar (sucrose). NutraFlora scFOS preferentially feeds beneficial bacteria, including Bididobacteria and Lactobacilli. It is one of the most effective prebiotics on the market. Just 1 g of scFOS from NutraFlora per day has been shown to increase the growth of Bifidobacteria. Larger doses provide both faster and greater increases in Bifidobacteria levels.

Purimune GOS delivers 90% prebiotic galactooligosaccharides and is derived from lactose using non-GMO ingredients and a traditional natural fermentation method. It is also completely soluble in water and is 30 to 35% as sweet as sucrose. Galactooligosaccharides constitute the third largest component in breast milk (with fat and lactose being No. 1 and No. 2). Purimune delivers 90% GOS, which is the most concentrated form of GOS commercially available. It has been shown in clinical trials to increase the growth of Bifidobacteria and to support a healthy immune system at levels between 3 and 5 g per day.

Hi-maize resistant starch delivers 60% natural insoluble dietary fiber. Hi-maize resistant starch easily replaces flour in baked foods and snacks to increase dietary fiber while maintaining great taste, white color, and familiar texture. It is all natural and is supported by more than 370 published studies demonstrating health benefits. It is fermented by beneficial bacteria within the large intestine and significantly increases short-chain fatty acids while reducing harmful pathogens. Resistant starch naturally produces more butyrate, a particular short-chain fatty acid, than any other fiber tested. Butyrate is the preferred energy source of colonic mucosal cells and helps to keep colonic tissue healthy and functioning well.