Fiber & Whole Grains
Push for Whole Grains
According to Mintel’s New Products Database, the number of new whole-grain products has skyrocketed since 2000. That increase shows no signs of slowing down because consumer desire for healthy, whole-grain products continues to grow. Nutritionists recommend eating three or more servings of whole-grain foods per day (one serving is about 16 g of whole grain per serving or at least 48 g/day) and the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate recommendation is to “make half the grains whole grains,” which translates to a huge push for whole grains to be incorporated into multiple food products.
All Grains Are Not the Same
Consumers often assume all whole-grain foods come with accompanying high levels of dietary fiber, but this is not always the case. Food formulators and product developers know that not all grains are created equally, especially regarding fiber content. Because of this inequality, many grains require additional ingredients to boost their fiber content. This is where the Fibersol® line of ingredients, which are compatible with whole grains, can help boost overall fiber content of whole-grain-based products.
Fibersol’s line of dietary fibers is ideal for incorporation into a variety of whole-grain baking and snack applications. For formulators seeking a Whole Grain Stamp along with a fiber content claim (minimum of 2.5–5 g dietary fiber for “good” or “excellent” source, respectively), Fibersol can provide the solution by allowing developers to top off the fiber in their formulations with minimal process adjustments and sensory drawbacks. Moreover, using Fibersol has the added benefit of being able to replace sugar in many cases, thus reducing sugar and calories. Fibersol®-2 and Fibersol®-2AG ingredients add only 1.6 kcal/g, less than most carbohydrates.
Fibersol is suited for virtually all applications. And while it is ideal for adding fiber content to whole-grain products, Fibersol ingredients also add crispness to baked snacks and delay staling to extend shelf life, therefore improving textural qualities that are often an issue associated with whole grains. Composed of digestion-resistant maltodextrins (a soluble corn fiber), Fibersol ingredients add no color, flavor or taste to a product, yet still provide up to 90 percent concentrated dietary fiber (mfb).
Adding fiber while maintaining the desired functional and sensory properties can be a formulation challenge. The Fibersol line offers both ease of use and versatility in that it is tasteless and odorless and adds minimal viscosity. Therefore, it raises a product’s desired fiber content levels with minimal effect on the product itself, which helps with overall consumer acceptance of whole-grain products. Fibersol is heat-stable and requires minimal formulation and process adjustments, and it can even improve the flavor of whole-grain formulations. While some fibers break down under acid, temperature or shear, Fibersol does not break down under extreme processing conditions.
Meeting the Fiber Challenge
Consumers continue to demand better-for-you options that help them meet dietary fiber recommendations yet still have the taste and textural qualities they expect. Fiber’s essential role in optimal health, combined with its ability to reduce the risk of many diseases, signals the importance of providing fortified foods and beverages. Meeting these needs requires a high level of formulation savvy to design effective, great-tasting products. The addition of Fibersol soluble dietary fiber into whole-grain-based applications can help raise the functionality of such offerings, making the phrase “fiber follows function” a formulation reality.