Spanish supermarkets and Panamanian dairy back prebiotics

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

The world’s biggest inulin and oligofructose supplier, Beneo Orafti has signed deals with two Spanish supermarkets and the biggest dairy in Panama to add its branded Beneo ingredients to their products.

In Spain, the supermarket giants – El Corte Ingles and Hipercor – have launched a functional beverage called Bebida de Chufa that includes Beneo’s patented form of oligofructose enriched inulin, Orafti Synergy1.

The product comes in a 200ml bottle and contains 30 per cent of recommended daily allowances for zinc and vitamins A, C and E.

In Panama, the dairy Estrella Azul Industrias Lácteas has debuted two Beneo-containing products – a low and non-fat milk marketed as boosting calcium absorption and fibre levels as p[art of its Special Line range.

Estrella Azul has backed the launch with a national television campaign.

“We are delighted that big supermarket chains such as El Corte Ingles and Hipercor are acknowledging the value of a quality label such as Beneo,”​ said Tim Van der Schraelen, marketing communication manager at Beneo.

The Beneo Label Program began between Beneo and food manufacturers in the 1990s as a means to communicate the prebiotic benefits of inulin and oligofructose.

Beneo has launched My FeelGood Factor on its website as a space for discussion of nutrition issues with the public.

Window to Science

It also established the Beneo Institute last November to communicate science and better rise to regulatory challenges such as those brought by the health claims system in the European Union.

As part of that initiative, the Beneo Institute launched a new periodic journal, Window to Science​, which has been critical of the EU health claims system.

“Whilst the definition of a Health Claim is broad, the current interpretation and assessment may narrow the broad scope to active, drug type components,”​ Beneo wrote in Window to Science​. “In other words: a claim for ‘normal healthy food’ indicating its physiological characteristics does not seem to comply with the regulation.”

The European Food Safety Authority has passed opinion on prebiotic sources, chicory, oligosaccharides, isomalto-oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, and will publish those opinions in about a month’s time.

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