FODMAP refers to fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. The ingredients are not digested but draw water while they pass through the small intestine and produce gas as they are fermented by the gut bacteria in the large intestine, causing bloating and other uncomfortable symptoms in susceptible people, particularly people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
While awareness in North America is still relatively low, some industry stakeholders are expecting 2018 to be a key year for the category, according to a report from earlier this month in FoodNavigator-USA.
High FODMAP foods include dairy products containing lactose, fruits and sweeteners high in fructose, onions, garlic, and some beans and vegetables.
Prebiotics are a particularly troublesome category for people with IBS because the most common prebiotics like inulin are FODMAPs.
People going on low FODMAP diets often cut out prebiotics, explained a spokesperson for MSPrebiotics. The FODMAP Friendly certification gives people following a low FODMAP diet the confidence to add essential prebiotic fiber back to their diet.
The company is currently updating its packaging to include the FODMAP Friendly logo, with the new label visible on shelves in spring 2018.
“We’re proud to be the first FODMAP Friendly certified prebiotic” says Jason Leibert, VP of sales and marketing at MSPrebiotics Inc. “This will make selection of products and reading labels for people trying to avoid FODMAPs much easier. They can trust the simplicity of the symbols our product displays.”
MSPrebiotics Inc. is a relatively new entrant to the market. The company was founded by brothers Earl and Derek McLaren, who had been farming potatoes in Manitoba, Canada since 1980. Earl and Derek continued potato farming until 2002, when they bought a manufacturing facility and began their journey towards producing a prebiotic gut health supplement.
A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition last year supported the potential of the potato-derived resistant starch to increase the abundance of several species of healthy Bifidobacteria in elderly people.
The study, led by scientists from St. Boniface Albrechtsen Research Centre and the University of Manitoba in Canada, also showed that consumption of the commercially available MSPrebiotic product reduced constipation and increased levels of butyrate, a type of short chain fatty acid that is the main source of energy for cells in the colon.