Beghin Meiji claims to have revolutionised the bakery world with its prebiotic fibre Actilight, which can be added to white breads to offer the same intestinal health benefits attributed to wholemeal.
The French company, which has already seen Actilight used in dairy foods and nutritional supplements, is now marketing the ingredient to the baking industry, currently suffering from consumer demand for healthier products. Beghin Meiji says the fibre can be added during manufacturing, with no effect on Maillard's reaction and the dough texture and taste also remain the same.
"Actilight is proving itself to be innovative in the Danish pastry and biscuit industries," said Beghin Meiji. "It can easily replace all or part of the sucrose in a recipe since its structure and taste are very similar. Actilight is the key to the development of a whole new range of really tasty and healthily enriched food."
Described as an 'identical to nature' ingredient, Actilight short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides are derived from beet sugar through 'soft' biotechnology. Fructo-oligosaccharides are naturally present in onions, bananas, garlic, tomatoes. Actilight is a bifidogenic fibre, or a prebiotic ingredient, and arrives intact into the intestine, nourishing bifidobacteria present in the intestinal flora.
Recent trials have proven that consuming 2.5g of the ingredient daily can have a positive result on the intestinal flora, according to the company. Actilight also has recognised bifidogenic properties from 5g/day with a small daily intake being sufficient to help protect the intestine by making it more resistant to pathogenic micro-organisms. It is also thought to synthesise vitamin B and magnesium, metabolise carbohydrates and lipids, and regulate the intestinal transit.
Actilight is suitable for use in dairy products, dietary supplements, herbal teas, sugar, ice cream and prepared meats.