Tate & Lyle calls for focus on fibre and fortification

There is currently a significant fibre deficit in European diets, with consumers far more focused on finding ways to introduce protein into what they eat and drink, along with removing sugar. Ingredient innovation means a product’s nutritional content can be rebalanced by adding dietary fibre, making food healthier beyond simply removing sugar, according to Delphine Forejt, category development manager for dairy and baby food at Tate & Lyle Europe.

“There are evident health benefits to consumers through this fibre fortification, not least closing the ‘fibre gap’, which is the difference between actual fibre intake and daily recommended amounts,” she notes. Current government guidelines recommend adults to eat at least 30g of fibre every day, but currently the average UK adult eats around 20g, and children’s diets are similarly lacking in fibre.

In terms of health improvements, fibre fortification could help 72% of adults reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.  Emerging research even suggests some fibres may help promote immune health.

“Tate & Lyle, through looking at the overall nutritional value of what people are already eating, found dairy was a huge opportunity for fibre fortification. It isn’t just a theory, either, as its research found seven in 10 young adults in the UK would choose fibre fortified yogurt to include in their daily diet, with 80% confirming they’d be interested in consuming a healthier drinkable or spoonable with added fibre, if they were available where they shopped,” Forejt says.

Globally, food and drink product launches that contain fibre are growing – Europe has seen a 5% growth rate, due to increased activity in the beverages, confectionary and desserts categories in particular. Tate & Lyle research found that adding the words, “excellent source of fibre” messaging would increase purchase intent by an average of 55%, she adds.

Products such as Tate & Lyle Promitor, which labels as soluble corn fibre, may be added to dairy products including yogurt style products, without impacting their taste or mouthfeel, while allowing them to be labelled as ‘a source of’ or ‘high in’ fibre, according to Forejt. Chocolate milk beverages, too, can have their nutritional value enhanced through the addition of fibres, maintaining familiar flavours and colours, with the benefit of reduced added sugar, she notes

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