Dietary Fiber health benefits

Nellson Blog

Incorporating Dietary Fiber Delivers Digestive Health Benefits

May 21, 2019

Over 80% of U.S. consumers see dietary fiber as the 2nd-most healthy component of food.* And, with 60% of U.S. consumers focusing on adding it to their diet**, it’s no surprise that dietary fiber is becoming one of the most requested ingredients—and claims—from our Nellson customers.

FDA-DEFINED DIETARY FIBER

With an eye on FDA’s dietary fiber definition effective 2020, many customers are justifiably concerned about keeping their key fiber label claims for both in-market and new products, especially if the products rely on fiber to replace sugar or reduce net carbohydrate count.

At Nellson, we continuously review our ingredients for compliance with the latest regulations. When it comes to dietary fiber, we leverage our formulation expertise to identify any carbohydrate ingredients in each formulation that may no longer count towards total dietary fiber. When nutritional changes such as a fiber status change require proactive action, we design a plan together with our customers that best fits the specific product and market segment and may include label revision or reformulation. In cases where reformulation is warranted, our in-house R&D identifies potential alternatives, working closely with our customers to understand key nutritional and labeling targets, while also maintaining customer expectations such as sensory characteristics and product cost.

DIGESTIVE HEALTH HAS BIGGER BENEFITS

Traditionally, consumers have turned to digestive health products for localized and interventional benefits such as addressing digestive upset or facilitating weight management. In recent years, scientists have uncovered a plethora of links between gut health and other systems, ranging all the way from heart and kidney health to mental health effects and more. In turn, consumers have started to recognize the overarching role of gut health on overall health, and are turning to digestive health products for a much wider-ranging set of benefits. Some benefits are clearly communicated as front-of-label claims that appeal to specific consumer concerns, such as ‘makes you feel fuller longer’ on satiety products, while others are only implied under the umbrella of ‘digestive health’.

PROTECTING PROBIOTICS AND PREBIOTICS

Consumers also increasingly understand the role of gut microflora and ‘pro’- and ‘pre’-biotics when it comes to improving their digestive health. In order to approach both aspects of gut health, customers also look to combine probiotics and corresponding prebiotics such as dietary fiber within the same product.

Prebiotic dietary fibers can lead to some textural challenges in nutritional bars such as dryness or hardness over shelf life, particularly at higher claim levels. Nellson formulates with specific fibers or combinations of fibers in order to not only meet texture expectations at time zero, but also throughout the shelf life of the product.

Probiotics also pose certain difficulties, particularly the survival of the organism through processing and shelf life. Our Quality and Regulatory teams first ensure proper selection of the appropriate probiotic strain, form and carrier for use in our facilities, and for the finished product claims desired by our customers. Our R&D team selects formats and ingredients most suitable for probiotic survival and builds processing parameters around this formula to avoid probiotic destruction. In addition, we add overages as required by our customers and validated through third-party testing at time zero and throughout shelf life. Our Regulatory team closes the loop by reviewing packaging materials and advising our customers on appropriate claims to the consumers.

Finally, Nellson views your finished product as a whole system rather than a checklist of ingredients needed against specific claims. Every step of the way, our R&D team uses its nutrition and formulation expertise to design products that fit consumer needs seamlessly, avoiding ingredients that may not match your product proposition and consulting with you to balance any conflicting requirements.

*2018 Food and Health Survey, https://foodinsight.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/2018-FHS-Report-FINAL.pdf

** https://www.naturalproductsinsider.com/formulation/consumer-attitudes-about-fiber-around-world

Find out how the Nellson team can help you design and deliver successful products featuring the benefits of dietary fiber.

Contact us today to incorporate in-demand dietary fiber in your products.

Category: Ingredients Wellness

Tags: dietary fiber, fiber, prebiotics, R&D, probiotics