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BENEO-Institute sees oligofructose approved in India

July 2011 - The BENEO-Institute is pleased to announce the approval of its prebiotic fibre, oligofructose, for use with an even greater range of products in India. Having been approved for use in bakery products for several years, the Indian Ministry of Health has now opened the door for oligofructose to be used in a number of additional food categories in the country, including sweets, dairy products, frozen dessert, ice-cream, cereals, chocolates as well as meat applications.
Following a rigorous approval process and a successful application from BENEO-Institute’s regulatory experts, food manufacturers will now be able to reach a wider cross-section of consumers with the fibre-type and prebiotic benefits of oligofructose. Among the new food categories in which oligofructose can be used will be the very popular ‘Traditional Indian Sweets’ category, which includes sweets such as Halwa, Mysore Pak and Boondi Ladoo. 
Anke Sentko, Vice President Regulatory Affairs and Nutrition Communication, BENEO commented: “India is a growing market for functional ingredients so we are very pleased with this positive verdict. It proves again the nutritional and technological benefits of oligofructose within a wide range of products. Moreover, we are now able to support functional food manufacturers in an even broader application portfolio to encourage optimised nutrition and more healthy lifestyles.” 
Oligofructose’s approval in India is set to be welcome news for food product manufacturers. According to Mintel GNPD (Global New Products Database) 2011, product launches with “added-fibre” claims have been growing for one and a half years by 439% worldwide. While in the first half of 2010 357 high-in-fibre products were launched, the market has already experienced 1,932 launches in the same category so far in 2011. This growth should see healthy contribution from the Indian market as the appetite for better digestive health increases in the country. According to a recent report from the Expert Group of the Indian Council of Medical Research, fibre-enriched food will steadily gain importance in India as “Western-style” diets – typically processed or refined and low in fibre – influence Indian food in urban areas where convenience food will become key to busy lifestyles.  
Derived from chicory root, oligofructose is a soluble prebiotic dietary fibre that supports a balanced gut microflora and digestive health; at levels of five grams each day, it stimulates and increases the bifidobacteria (prebiotic effect). Due to its moderately sweet taste, oligofructose can partly replace sugar in certain product recipes making it perfect in providing an “added fibre” benefit and at the same time allow “no-added sugar” or ”low sugar” alternatives. In combination with high intensity sweeteners it gives a more balanced sweetness profile.

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