Fugeia wins novel foods approval for wheat bran prebiotic ingredient

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Dietary fiber

The European Commission has granted novel food status to Belgium based functional ingredients company Fugeia NV for its wheat bran product Brana Vita, opening up the use of the ingredient in foods and beverages.

The company, which is mainly active in the field of health and nutrition – with a focus on digestive health – announced that it has won EU Novel Food approval for its Brana Vita product, adding that it expects the soluble fibre product to prove a hit with European consumers after now approval has been granted.

“After obtaining GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status and an FDA No objection letter for the US market during 2010, we are delighted to now be able to announce EU Novel Food approval. This approval comes less than eighteen months after introducing our initial request, which speaks to the very strong safety record of our ingredient and the quality of our datapack,” ​said Olivier Lescroart, head of regulatory affairs at Fugeia.

The novel food approval applies to the use of Brana Vita in a range of functional food categories including breakfast cereals, dairy products and drinks – with a 3g dose per serving allowed in most applications.

Commercial strength

“This all-natural ingredient derived from wheat bran will be a strong contender in the soluble fibre market”​ said Willem Broekaert, managing director and co-founder of Fugeia.

“Winning key regulatory approvals has been a significant element in building a strong platform for commercial launch,”​ he added.

The co-founder said that food companies “are all looking for ingredients of which the consumer trusts and understands the origin.”

“Wheat bran is widely known and trusted as an excellent fibre source with a positive impact on digestive health ... Our market research shows that consumers will recognise foods made with fibre from wheat bran as premium products,” ​said Broekaer.

Potent prebiotic

The company added that the Brana Vita ingredient is rich in arabinoxylan oligosaccharides (AXOS), soluble fibres derived from the cell walls of wheat bran.

Fugeia said that the AXOS “are very potent prebiotics, stimulating the growth of beneficial colon bacteria such as bifidobacteria, and moreover they exert strong antioxidant activity due to the presence of AXOS-bound polyphenols.”

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The latest knowledge and industrial applications in human microflora including probiotic and prebiotics will be discussed at the MICROBIOTA two-day conference in Paris on December 13-14. For more information click here.

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