Roquette has obtained recognition from France's AFSSA for Nutriose's fibre properties, meaning that products containing the ingredient in its home market can now carry 'source of fibre' and 'rich in fibre' claims.
Nutriose is a dextrin derived from wheat and maize, which contains up to 85 per cent fibre. Roquette claims this high fibre content allows for increased digestive tolerance, calorie management, extended energy release and lower sugar content.
The 'source of fibre' approval from the French food safety authority applies to products containing 3g or more of Nutriose per 100g of foodstuff and the 'rich in fibre' approval to products containing 6g or more.
The green-light from AFSSA means Roquette now has a stronger footing for positioning Nutriose on a health platform. It extends its use into new kinds of products - those aiming to bridge the fibre gap in consumers' diets.
In the past, the company has positioned the range on a sugar-free platform. Earlier this year it highlighted its use to reduce sugar by 30-60 per cent in confectionery, biscuits, breads, desserts and dairy products.
In 2006 Nutriose FB06 was used by Routin (the second largest French syrup producer after Teisseire, for a sugar-free fruit syrup last year. The companies heralded this launch as setting new standards in taste for sugar-free drinks of this type, something that had previously presented challenged relating to body and mouthfeel.
Boosting fibre consumption is seen as a target for consumers in Europe. Recommended fibre consumption in France is 25 to 30g per day - yet average consumption falls below this ballpark.
The story is the same for other European countries. Consumers in the UK do not meet their target consumption of 18g per day, and nor do German consumers, who are advised to down 30g.
Natural dietary sources of soluble fibre include cereals, oatmeal, apples, citrus fruits, psyllium, beans.
The new nutrition and health claims mean that Nutriose-containing products cannot use the results of studies in marketing. (Recent studies have yielded positive results for its effect on blood sugar levels, colon health, satiety and cholesterol reduction, the company says).
However fibre is strongly associated with health in the minds of consumers - even if they don't know exactly why it is good for them.
Roquette says that Nutriose has exceptional digestive tolerance and a neutral flavour, which means it does not compromise the flavour of the finished product.