Part of the Iranex Group, France-based Colloides Naturels International (CNI) has been offering its regular Fibregum ingredient for use in dairy products, beverages, confectionery, bakery, processed fruits, frozen desserts and dietetic specialties.
The new version, called Fibregum Clear, is said to have exactly the same properties as conventional Fibregum, but to have been produced using a specific purification process to make it suitable for beverage applications.
It is said to have a minimum content of 90 per cent soluble fibre, and a “strong prebiotic effect” – that is, creating a balanced microflora environment in the gut where probiotic bacteria like bifidobacteria and lactobacilli can flourish. Fermentation is also said to release short chain fatty acids, which have been researched for their mediating role in the benefits of prebiotics.
Functional beverages currently make up one of the most dynamic parts of the beverage market. According to market researcher Zenith International functional drink sales rose 3 per cent in 2008 to 26.5bn litres – albeit somewhat impacted by the recession.
According to CNI, use at levels below 50g/day does not result in intestinal discomfort – and products can be labelled as being ‘enriched with fibre’ or a ‘good source of fibre. It does not affect the colour, flavour or brightness of the drink.
The company sources its acacia gum - also known as gum arabic - from 15 African countries, and works closely with local communities to promote the agro-economy. It works with some 20 specific varieties of gum with qualities that are suited to its customers’ needs.
For some grades of gum it has managed to gain organic certification; CNI offers an organic version of Fibregum, called Fibregum Bio.