The American food/beverage industry today got some new help in its ongoing search for ways to cut sugar and add fiber with the introduction of VitaFiber® Plus – the industry’s newest sugar replacement. The product was launched by BioNeutra North America Inc. It’s a healthy low-calorie sweetener, a prebiotic and a soluble dietary fiber all rolled into one. The fiber it contains is one of only 17 select fiber ingredients approved by the FDA under stiff new rules.
Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs for BioNeutra, Dr. Vinti Goel, says, “Americans consume less than half the daily amount of fiber recommended by health experts. We believe that this is a product that food, beverage, bakers and confectionary manufacturers have been searching for driven by consumer demands for sugar reduction and added fiber.”
“It’s an unique product,” says Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sheri O’Brien. “The industry will find it a joy to work with. It binds, bulks and browns. It’s mildly sweet and masks high intensity sweeteners and has great mouth feel. It helps keep ice cream smooth and creamy. It’s a humectant that keeps things moist.”
VitaFiber® Plus is targeted at two pressing health issues - the lack of fiber and high sugar in food and beverage products. Lack of fiber causes gut health problems like irregularity and constipation, both of which costs tens of millions of dollars in lost productivity and treatment costs. High sugar intake can cause increased weight gain leading to a wide range of problems.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says 70% of Americans are overweight.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says more than 40 million Americans suffer from constipation problems. According to the Consumer HealthCare Association Americans spent $5.5 billion dollars on laxative products alone over the last four years ending in 2019.
Creating VitaFiber® Plus wasn’t easy. Developing the technology to produce the key ingredient – VitaFiber® IMO - took nearly three decades. It’s the result of research conducted at universities in three countries. It’s made through a patented process relying on plant starch drawn from pea or tapioca and was the first IMO in the world to be approved by the world’s top three health regulators – the FDA. Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority.
The new product is specially developed from VitaFiber® IMO and resistant dextrin. Resistant dextrin is one of the 17 fiber ingredients the FDA has approved after the regulator introduced stringent new fiber rules in 2016. The FDA’s clampdown sharply reduced the number of approved fiber ingredients in America. Resistant dextrin can help with bone health by increasing calcium absorption and can help reverse the shortfall daily intake of fiber.
Today manufacturers are trying to meet consumer demands by adding fiber to various foods and beverages including cereals, protein bars and supplements, “healthier” cookies, diet ice cream and even bottled water. Taste is still king, and manufacturers know it and recognize that sugar alternatives must taste good and produce no after taste. VitaFiber® Plus meets that need. It’s great tasting and has a smooth mouthfeel, but is also used to mask the unfavorable after taste of some high intensity sweeteners which makes it an unique, attractive replacement for sugar.