Beneo-Orafti in meat-branding prebiotic first

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Van der schraelen Nutrition

World-leading inulin and oligofructose supplier, Beneo-Orafti, has engaged in co-branding in meat products for the first time with its prebiotic ingredients.

Beneo-Orafti’s prebiotic ingredients are available in existing meat products but two new products – a canned fish in Germany and a turkey steak in Spain – feature Beneo-Orafti’s ingredient branding for the first time.

The move marks a significant leap for Beneo-Orafti outside of its heartland categories of bakery and dairy products.

Because Europe’s health claim laws are not yet unified, the Spanish processed turkey fillet product makes a prebiotic health claim. A less liberal health claims system in Germany means the canned fish product references only its high-fibre content.

Nutritional benefits

Beneo-Orafti marketing and communication manager, Tim Van der Schraelen, told NutraIngredients.com, inulin and oligofructose had been used in various meat products for technological reasons that are now being combined – and marketed – with nutritional benefits.

He said low-fat and low-sugar claims can also be applied to Orafti’s chicory root-derived ingredients.

The fact the Spanish product was a processed turkey dinner-type offering not typically consumed on a daily basis did not diminish the prebiotic, gut health-boosting benefit, according to Van der Schraelen.

“This product is not the only source of prebiotics in the diet – indeed, if the fillets are eaten with vegetables then there are prebiotics in those vegetables,”​ he said. “Then there are other inulin an oligofructose-fortified foods, of which there many.”

Beneo’s ingredients have been added to about 80 products in the past year to bring the total to 330 worldwide.

Whether such products could bear such health claims when nutrient profiling criteria being debated within the European Union is resolved, remains to be seen, but in their favour, the latest introductions feature in healthy ranges.

Nutrient profiling is based on the idea that only foods that meet a certain standard in regard to its overall health profile should be able to bear health claims that may be related to one or another particular ingredient.

Healthy ranges

The Spanish product is manufactured by Sant Dalma and is part of a new range of turkey grill products called Pechugas de Pavo GRILL. It contains 3.2 per cent Orafti oligofructose.

The canned fish is made by RügenFisch under its reduced fat Leichte Linie brand and consists of sharkcatfish​ fillets.

“If the products follow the Beneo-Orafti guidelines in terms of dosage and appropriate claims, they can carry the Beneo label,”​ Van der Schraelen said.

He said Beneo-Orafti research indicated consumers were prepared to pay more for a product with added health benefits. “This confirms what we already knew: consumers see the label as a symbol for health, have a preference for such products and will also pay a price premium for products with scientifically proven added health benefits.”

The company submitted health claim petitions to the European Commission for consideration under the nutrition and health claims regulation. These include:

  • 'promotes a balanced microflora'
  • 'promotes digestive health'
  • 'increases calcium absorption leading to increased bone strength'
  • 'stimulates your body's natural defenses'.

Market analyst AC Nielsen​ puts the European digestive health market at about €2.2bn (including probiotics).

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