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BENEO-Institute addresses sugar reduction and functional carbohydrates at XIII Food Studies Meeting on Health and Chemistry: Focus on Food Innovation

May 2010 - Antje Jungclaus PhD, Manager Nutrition Communication, BENEO-Institute will be giving an overview on different ideas for sugar reduction within her presentation: “Sugar reduction in an intelligent way – how to improve the physiological quality of a product”. It takes place on 12th May at the XIII Food Studies Meeting on Health and Chemistry in Barcelona.
Predictions by the World Health Organisation say that by 2015, over 2.3 billion of the adult population will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese. In contrast to this over-all trend, there is a growing proportion of the population who are becoming more health conscious and concerned about their weight, so are demanding alternative food products that will help them lead a healthier lifestyle. A number of initiatives have been set up to combat the obesity rise and as a result, the need is for manufacturers to improve the physiological quality of consumer food products.
Speaking about sugar reduction, Antje Jungclaus says: “There are three types of approaches to reformulate food: the food chemist’s approach with focus on carbohydrate chain length, the technologist’s approach with focus on portion size and sugar percentage and the nutritionist’s approach with focus on the nutritional and physiological properties of a product. BENEO has its heart and expertise based in the latter and can achieve sugar reduction as well as provide further health benefits with its ingredients.”
The demand for products reduced in sugar have become even more popular and as such, familiar consumer products are now appearing on shelves with new, “improved” recipes but not all have necessarily led to improved quality products. The physiological advantages of ‘reduced sugar’ products come into question where fat content is increased or if longer molecular-weight carbohydrates are used.
BENEO helps with the use of intelligent sugar reduction by way of partial replacement of sugars by prebiotic fibres (e.g. oligofructose), or complete replacement of sugars by low-digestible carbohydrate sweeteners like isomalt.
Orafti® oligofructose has sugar-like physical properties with the same molecular structure as sugar with a similar viscosity and high solubility. Its sweetness profile is similar to sucrose and not only has fewer calories, but also provides fibre enrichment. Being prebiotic it stimulates gut health, has shown to enhance mineral absorption and to affect energy intake. ISOMALT is the only sugar replacer derived from pure beet sugar yet with only half the calories. Very different from intense sweeteners it replaces sugar in volume by a 1:1 ratio; when ISOMALT is used in food products, consumers can be sure that they are digesting less calories. ISOMALT also allows promoting dental health and a low effect on blood glucose and insulin levels.
As well as ingredients enabling high quality sugar reduced recipes, new functional carbohydrates such as Palatinose™ (isomaltulose) give new possibilities for healthy nutrition, and given that it’s a sugar, it poses the question of whether the focus should be on sugar reduction or carbohydrate modification. The unique molecular structure of Palatinose™ allows a slow yet full release of glucose to the body (slow calories). Being low-glycaemic as well, it provides balanced and sustained energy to the body and contributes to modern energy management. More details on the characteristics and benefits of Palatinose™ and its impact for functional products will be shown on 11th May within the second presentation by Antje Jungclaus.

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