Fibre-rich chews could join healthy confectionery market

By Linda Rano

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill has filed a patent application to the US Patent and
Trademark office for a fibre-filled confectionery chew.

Adding fibre to food and beverages has become common practice in the food industry as companies focus on finding new sources of dietary fibre as functional ingredients. An ever increasing number of bakery products, such as oatmeal biscuits, that contain soluble dietary fibres, have been developed and marketed as value-added products. Confectioners have joined in developing ranges of high fibre chocolate and other products, Cargill's application gives a strong indication of scope for new health-orientated, fibre-filled, confectionery products. Chews are normally regarded as unhealthy because sugar or other sweeteners are often a primary ingredient. Cargill's application suggests that the chew may be used "as a consumer food product or may be used as a supplement-type product​." Description A chew is described that includes a sweetener and a fibre blend that includes at least 1 per cent by weight short-chain inulin and at least 1 per cent by weight a source of dietary fibre other than short-chain inulin. Processes for preparing chews including short-chain inulin and another source of dietary fibre are also described. There are specific details on the preparation of a chocolate and raspberry chew. The application also covers chews that have at least 2.5g or 5g of dietary fibre per 12g serving. The fibre blend may also include at least 5 percent or at least 10 per cent by weight short-chain inulin and the same of another source of fibre. The total amount of fibre blend can vary. Mention is made of chews containing up to 50 per cent weight or more of fibre blend. The ratio of short chain inulin to other fibre source might also vary. According to the application the variation in fibre content may allow the chew to be classed as a 'good​' source of dietary fibre, according to FDA labelling standards, ie if the fibre blend is present in a final amount of at least 20.8 per cent by weight. 5g of fibre per 12g serving would make the chews an 'excellent​' source of fibre. Other ingredients might also include flavouring, one or more vitamins and minerals, calcium, a dairy-based product, or glycerine. The sweetener may include high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sucrose, fructose or mixtures thereof. The use of fibre blend might reduce the amount of sweetener and/or corn syrup used. Inulin The other source of fibre mentioned in the application may include another inulin type. Inulin is a prebiotic. Prebiotic ingredients such as inulin, are thought to make the gut environment more amenable for healthy bacterial flora and boost satiety. The patent application can be found here​.

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