Let’s talk trends. Is your product able to use current health food trends to expand its market share? Or perhaps you are looking to develop a product that will take advantage of current consumer desires? In this series we will look at emerging food product trends and how they might be used.
Foods and drinks for gut health
Probiotics and prebiotics for gut health are hot topics at the moment! Associated with alleviating depression to dementia our guts respond to what we feed them. With an ageing population and growing dementia concerns, this area of functional foods is sure to grow.
Let’s focus on the prebiotic part. Prebiotics are a type fibre and serve as ‘food’ for friendly gut bacteria. How? As prebiotic fibre travels intact through the gastrointestinal tract, it ends up in the large intestine where it can help grow the good bacteria population. Many vegetables, fruit, legumes, cereals, nuts and seeds are sources of prebiotic fibre.
Fibre in all its forms and names, prebiotic, dietary, soluble and insoluble – we all need it but we tend not to get the variety and daily recommended amounts.
This is where hidden veggies come in. Easy, affordable high fibre food products, that all members of the family can enjoy, are growing and products have turned to vegetables to increase fibre. Think fibre rich biscuits, breads, sauces, drinks, meat and meat replacements, gluten free products, the list is endless! Popular vegetables include zucchini for its ability to blend in and take on the flavours of the product and edible mushrooms for their unique umami flavour profile and health benefits.
Alternate sources of fibre
Whole plants offer many different types of dietary fibre (soluble and insoluble) which are now being used by food manufacturers and technologists to increase the fibre content of products and also take advantage of their technological properties (e.g. stability, thickening, mouthfeel, sweetness). Alternative sources of dietary fibre that have been used successfully in food products include bark, chicory root, seaweed, algae, and upcycled fruit and vegetable peels. With emerging food technologies, the fibre content of many products can be improved without compromising taste and texture.
Some fibre examples you may have heard of include inulin, pectin, gum, mucilage, cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, and soluble fibre. Inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (fructans, FOS) and galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) are classed as having high prebiotic effects.
Boosting the fibre content (including prebiotic fibre) of your product may allow you to make fibre related health claims on your labels and in your marketing. As this is a key consumer trend, adding fibre to your product is definitely ‘food for thought’! What impact might that have on increasing your market share?
Contact Michelle at Food Envy Labelling if you would like to know more about fibre and how it can improve your product’s nutrient profile score to access approved health claims. She would be happy to discuss the opportunities with you!
Mintel. 2021 Global Food and Drink Trends. Available from: https://www.mintel.com/global-food-and-drink-trends
Franck, Anne. (2002). Technological Functionality of Inulin and Oligofructose. The British Journal of Nutrition. 87 Suppl 2. S287-91. 10.1079/BJNBJN/2002550.