Also known under the generic name isomaltulose, Palatinose is a disaccharide derived from sucrose. Its can be used to enhance the nutritional value of foods since it is digested much more slowly than sucrose, providing energy over a longer time period.
The low-glycemic trend is widely held to have taken up the baton from low-carb as a popular approach to dietary weight loss.
In the US industry and consumers have been slow to pick up on the trend, but are now starting to catch up. Nine new products featured in Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) since January make a reference to the glycemic index, compared with 19 in Australia and 13 in the UK.
Originally developed as a means to help manage diabetes, the low-glycemic diet favors slow release carbohydrates such as whole grains, most fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes over those which release energy quickly, like white bread, refined breakfast cereals, and concentrated sugars, which cause blood sugar levels to spike.
More than 300 scientific papers have investigated the approach and the impact on it may have on obesity and obesity-related conditions in the last 18 months. Amongst the most recent was a study conducted at the Children's Hospital in Boston and published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which suggested that a low-glycemic-load diet could be more efficacious in lowering the risk of obese young adults developing cardiovascular disease than a low-fat diet.
Germany's Palatinit, a subsidiary of Südzucker, the world's largest sugar producer, is also drawing attention to the taste of the ingredient, which they say is very natural and mild.
It filed a novel food application for Palatinose in Germany for the EU in January, which is expected to be approved before the year is out. In the US, Palatinose is self-affirmed GRAS (generally recognized as safe).