Cargill develops fiber-rich crispy ingredient

By Clarisse Douaud in Orlando

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Soluble fiber, Dietary fiber, Nutrition, Cargill

Cargill has developed a new fiber-rich ingredient that resembles a
rice crisp, targeting food makers' needs for pleasingly textured,
taste-free fiber ingredients in mainstream foods.

Not yet launched but presented at this week's IFT in Florida, fibercrisp combines two of Cargill's trademarked ingredients, Oliggo-Fiber inulin and ActiStar resistant starches.

Understood to hold digestive and heart health benefits, fiber is growing in popularity in food products as food makers target the increasingly health-conscious consumer.

But the processed versions of these complex carbohydrates have left many consumers with a bad taste in their mouths.

"The food industry has been looking to add fiber to products,"​ said Cargill technical category manager Luis Rayas, "but it's hard to get fiber into products that taste good."

Cargill claims its clients already want to find out more about fibercrisp, which can be added to a variety of tasty finished products from bars to cereals, to ice creams.

"We think there is a huge market for this because of the response we are already getting,"​ Cargill senior research scientist Stefan Baier told NutraIngredients-USA.com.

Cargill's fibercrisp contains both forms of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Fibercrisp is a vehicle for Oliggo-Fiber, a natural soluble fiber extracted from chicory roots, and ActiStar, designed to increase levels of resistant starch and dietary fiber, to promote colon health.

One chocolate crisp bar containing fibercrisps can fulfill 40 percent of the recommended daily fiber intake of 24 grams, said Baier.

Soluble fiber is edible matter, often from plants, that is not absorbed by the small intestine. When it passes to the large intestine, soluble fiber can help reduce glucose absorption and diminish LDL cholesterol levels - thereby reducing the risk of heart disease and regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes. Insoluble fiber promotes a healthy and regular digestive tract.

The fiber market in the US alone was worth $192.8m in 2004, according to Frost and Sullivan.

The ingredient will initially be launched in the US according to Rayas.

"People in the US tend to eat on the run, so products that are launched here are aimed at a fast-paced lifestyle,"​ explained Rayas on the suitability of bars as a source of fiber.

Cargill has submitted fibercrisp, which company researchers began developing seven months ago, for a patent.

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