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Polydextrose: No compromise with taste or texture

Posted: 26 August 2010 | Dr. Jérôme Tauzin, Product Manager Fibres, Tate & Lyle | No comments yet

Polydextrose is a soluble fibre with prebiotic properties that is very well tolerated, has a low glycemic response, is clean-tasting and easy to use. With only one kcal/g, it is also a premium, low-calorie bulking agent used to provide body and texture in reduced-calorie, no added and sugar free foods. Its excellent process stability enables manufacturers to easily develop new and healthier versions of a wide range of foods and beverage products. Polydextrose is a glucose polymer consisting of randomly cross-linked glucose units with some sorbitol end-groups.

Polydextrose functions physiologically as a soluble dietary fibre due to a molecular structure that is resistant to breakdown by our digestive enzymes. It passes through to the large intestine where it is partially fermented by the colonic microflora. Polydextrose provides only one kcal per gram and, because it is fermented relatively slowly, is well tolerated at typical dietary intakes.

Polydextrose is a soluble fibre with prebiotic properties that is very well tolerated, has a low glycemic response, is clean-tasting and easy to use. With only one kcal/g, it is also a premium, low-calorie bulking agent used to provide body and texture in reduced-calorie, no added and sugar free foods. Its excellent process stability enables manufacturers to easily develop new and healthier versions of a wide range of foods and beverage products. Polydextrose is a glucose polymer consisting of randomly cross-linked glucose units with some sorbitol end-groups. Polydextrose functions physiologically as a soluble dietary fibre due to a molecular structure that is resistant to breakdown by our digestive enzymes. It passes through to the large intestine where it is partially fermented by the colonic microflora. Polydextrose provides only one kcal per gram and, because it is fermented relatively slowly, is well tolerated at typical dietary intakes.

Polydextrose is a soluble fibre with prebiotic properties that is very well tolerated, has a low glycemic response, is clean-tasting and easy to use. With only one kcal/g, it is also a premium, low-calorie bulking agent used to provide body and texture in reduced-calorie, no added and sugar free foods. Its excellent process stability enables manufacturers to easily develop new and healthier versions of a wide range of foods and beverage products. Polydextrose is a glucose polymer consisting of randomly cross-linked glucose units with some sorbitol end-groups.

Polydextrose functions physiologically as a soluble dietary fibre due to a molecular structure that is resistant to breakdown by our digestive enzymes. It passes through to the large intestine where it is partially fermented by the colonic microflora. Polydextrose provides only one kcal per gram and, because it is fermented relatively slowly, is well tolerated at typical dietary intakes.

Polydextrose conforms to the recently accepted definition of dietary fibre in the EU and can be used for potential ‘source of fibre’ or ‘rich in fibre’ claims on the final product, depending on the usage level. The fibre has prebiotic properties. A prebiotic is “a nondigestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or a limited number of beneficial bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health.” In vitro polydextrose stimulates growth of a wide variety of colonic Bifidobacteria. It has been shown in two different clinical studies that a daily intake of polydextrose significantly increases the concentrations of beneficial bacteria while substantially lowering the concentrations of the less desirable Bacteroides and Clostridium species. In addition, daily intake of five grams of a polydextrose and probiotic mixture was found to increase faecal Bifidobacteria more than in supplementation with the probiotic mixture alone, when compared over a two week period in 20 subjects.

In several clinical trials, polydextrose has been shown to improve the bowel function, gut comfort (frequency and weight of faeces) and colonic production of selective short chain fatty acids, particularly butyrate which has beneficial effects on the cells lining the colon. It also minimises the production of harmful fermentation products such as ammonia and branched-chain fatty acids in the large intestine.

Consumption of polydextrose itself causes a low glycemic and insulinemic-response and has a low caloric value of one kcal/g. As a result, Polydextrose is suitable for use in lowglycemic- load and low-sugar products, as well as in foods and drinks designed to be diabetic friendly. It is also accepted that low-glycemic, high in fibre foods can help to manage weight.

Polydextrose is very well tolerated. This high tolerance is due to its slow fermentability and the minimal osmotic effect as it passes through the large intestine. The mean threshold for polydextrose as agreed by the JECFA (Joint FAO/WHO Experts Committee on Food Additives) and by the former SCF (Scientific Committee on Food) is 90 grams consumed spread over the day, or 50 grams as a single dose for adults.

Health conscious European consumers want good-tasting fibre products

Due to growing media attention on obesity, both the scientific community and consumers have become increasingly aware of weight related issues and of the importance of fibre in everyday health and wellbeing. Although many now realise that they are overweight more than ever before, they remain satisfied, with 91 per cent of the 4,050 European consumers surveyed in 2008 by Tate & Lyle considering themselves to be in good health. Nonetheless, people are still concerned with improving their diet, with 64 per cent showing a greater interest in eating healthily over the past two years.

The increased interest in health and wellness is reflected in consumers’ views on labelling, with a majority suggesting that they read labels to decide whether they are making a healthy choice when choosing foods and drinks. Seventy two per cent of parents also claim to pay more attention to the ingredients used in products for their children.

The research findings also confirm a growing awareness of the importance of fibre. Most respondents are clearly looking for added benefits such as digestive health and weight management, while two thirds of parents believe that fibre is an important part of their child’s diet.

Tate & Lyle’s research provides an important insight on how to communicate with consumers about higher fibre content products and highlights appealing and credible label statements to make their shopping decisions easier.

Consumers’ demand for healthy products can be met by boosting fibre content in foods and beverages. Although half of respondents are still worried that increasing the percentage of fibre could alter the taste of products, it has been shown that including a higher level enables manufacturers to create healthy products without compromising on taste. And Tate & Lyle’s Dietary fibre range makes products that still taste great.

The Tate & Lyle research also shows that 50 per cent of consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for a product with an ‘on-pack’ fibre claim across categories, including baked goods, snacks and beverages. Given that the survey was undertaken during a time of economic uncertainty, this is great news for the industry, suggesting that consumer’s awareness and interest in health and wellness will continue to increase over the coming years.

Indepth analysis

In the summer of 2009, Tate & Lyle extended its research into consumer habits to conduct a poll of 1,565 people in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. The survey again highlighted the importance of fibre, with a majority suggesting that it was the most lacking part of their diet. Interestingly, younger respondents felt most concerned.

Indeed, 40 per cent of consumers responded that buying a high in fibre product is very important and something they look for, with 72 per cent willing to pay more for these. This last figure has risen from 2008 when Tate & Lyle last commissioned its research. Given that the effects of the recession are now more severe than they were then, this indicates that people are becoming more concerned about their diet and recognise the importance of fibre within it. However, the research also showed that fibre enriched food and drinks are not considered to be premium products and that there is a limit to what consumers will pay for them.

Clearly, manufacturers need to consider the optimal cost structure when formulating a high in fibre content product. Tate & Lyle is currently focusing on helping its customers to find the best formulation and recently announced the creation of the first European Polydextrose production, offering manufacturers an easy-to use, cost-effective and low-calorie soluble fibre.

These results highlight the huge potential of products enriched with fibre.

Polydextrose contains just one kcal per gram. It is non-sweet and has a similar viscosity to that of sucrose. It is used as a premium low-calorie bulking agent to provide body, mouthfeel and texture in reduced-calorie, no added and sugar free foods. It can replace a part or all of the sweetener and can bring technological added-value when fat is reduced. It can also replace full calorie bulking agents.

Up with fibre, down with calories: typical applications of Polydextrose

  • Bars and snacks
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Breakfast cereals and cereal coatings
  • Flavoured waters
  • Fruit drinks
  • Fruit fillings
  • Yogurts
  • Ice creams and frozen desserts
  • Milk drinks
  • Ready-to-drink beverages and concentrates
  • Chocolate and sugar confectionery
  • Sauces and dressings

Consumers have often faced a choice between something that is healthy and something that tastes good. With clean-tasting Polydextrose, food can be low in calories and high in fibre, but still taste good.

Easy, efficient and stable

Whether used in foods or drinks systems, a major benefit of Polydextrose is its stability throughout the product lifecycle, regardless of pH. It is stable through typical processing methods, any heat treatments and storage conditions, even in acidic matrices.

Polydextrose is widely applicable thanks to similar characteristics to sucrose in most systems. It is highly soluble, dissolving completely up to 80 per cent solids. As its viscosity impact is very low at low solid levels, Polydextrose can be added without changing the rheological properties of products.

The water activity of Polydextrose is similar to the water activity of sweeteners and polyols in solutions up to 20 per cent. At higher concentrations, Polydextrose is beneficial to maintain high solids without crystallising, therefore controlling water effectively. Polydextrose also immobilises water, inducing greater shelf life stability.

These technical attributes give Polydextrose its versatile functionality and reduce the need for other humectants in reduced-calorie products where water activity is elevated following a reduction of fat or other carbohydrates.

Another specific property of Polydextrose is to have a glassy transition at 60°C, which enables it to be used for tacking in snacking applications, or as an efficient cereal bar binder.

Slightly depressing the freezing point of frozen desserts, Polydextrose enhances scoopability in ice-cream products. Appropriately balanced with maltodextrins and sweeteners, it will produce the perfect degree of scoopability and storage stability.

STA-LITE® Polydextrose from Tate & Lyle is offered in convenient powder and liquid forms.

Up with fibre, down with calories – a great opportunity for manufacturers

Tate & Lyle has developed STA-LITE® Polydextrose to extend its portfolio of ingredients dedicated to weight management and digestive health.

At its Innovation Centre, which opened in September 2008 in Lille, France, Tate & Lyle works hand in hand with manufacturers to create new formulations and bring nutritional benefits to beverages, dairy, bakery and convenience food.

The facility houses application and analytical laboratories and a pilot plant to accommodate Tate & Lyle’s customers with the development and reformulation of food and beverages, using state-of-the-art technology.

Customers are able to try their recipes with STA-LITE® Polydextrose and work with experts to improve the health profile of products, increase brand appeal or simply create new products with nutritional benefits. Tate & Lyle’s Regulatory Affairs team will also support customers as they develop and position their products in line with governmental regulations, while our nutritionists can work with them on the development of wellbalanced food products.

Tate & Lyle keeps close to its customers needs

In order to match manufacturers’ productions and offer an improved cost structure in line with the current economical environment, Tate & Lyle has decided to build a new STA-LITE®®Polydextrose production line in Europe, which will be operational in January 2010. The line will be located at the Tate & Lyle starch plant in the Netherlands, and will be the first of its kind in Europe, with the capacity to manufacture a range of different soluble fibres. By locating the line within the EU, Tate & Lyle will shorten its supply chain, make the product available in more user friendly forms and reduce the need for stock through ‘Just In Time’ service.

This new production will also support Tate & Lyle CORE™ formulation service which helps food and beverage manufacturers CREATE™ innovative new products, OPTIMIZE™ their cost base, REBALANCE™ the nutritional profile of their products and ENRICH™ their products with nutritional benefits (like fibre). Thus Tate & Lyle offers ingredient solutions that enable manufacturers to meet nutritional or cost targets without compromising on taste and texture.

Tate & Lyle is a world-leading food and industrial ingredients company, serving a global market from over 45 production facilities throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. Maize, sugar cane and locust beans are turned into valuable ingredients delivering taste, texture and enhanced functionality and improving the nutritional profile of products consumed by millions of people every day.

Find out more about Tate & Lyle at www.tateandlyle.com

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About the author

Jérôme Tauzin

Jérôme currently works for Tate & Lyle as EMEA Product Manager, Fibres, where his key responsibility is managing Tate & Lyle’s fibre platform, including STA-LITE® Polydextrose and PROMITORTM dietary fibres. Jerome has also previously held the position of Product Manager, Proteins. Jérôme holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Nancy (France) focused on dairy proteins and bioactive milk peptides, and he has also worked in the R&D department at Ingredia as a Scientist in its Health and Nutrition team.

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