A presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting introduced Fructooliogosaccharides, which are low calorie, non digestible carbohydrates that improve food taste and texture which increasing immunity, bone health and the balance of bacteria in the digestive track.
The carbohydrate with the long name occurs naturally in chicory, onions, asparagus, wheat, tomatoes and other fruits, vegetables and grains and is derived from cane sugar and seaweed for use as a low-calorie food sweetener and supplement.
As the carbohydrates provides approximately 30-to-50 percent of the sweetness of regular sugar, it can be used to enhance flavor and lower the amount of sugar in a food product. In addition, Fructooliogosaccharides are considered prebiotics. After they are ingested fructooliogosaccharides move to the large intestine to stimulate the production of microbiota in the colon and gastrointestinal track. Microbiotas are “friendly, beneficial” bacteria, said Kelly A. Tappenden, Ph.D., Kraft Foods human nutrition endowed professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition. Microbiotas produce essential nutrients such as short-chain fatty acids; control epithelial cell growth (the cells that line body cavities); prevent overgrowth of infectious organisms; boost intestinal immunity; and prevent inflammation, diarrhea and other intestinal conditions. This “essential ecosystem” provides an important “balance between health and disease” in the body.
Fructooliogosaccharides also increase calcium absorption in the body, an important consideration for pre- and post-menopausal women, ages 45 and older, who are losing critical bone mass that increases their risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures. The regular addition of Fructooliogosaccharides to the diet is “ideal for maintaining mineral density and (bone) strength,” said Phillip Allsopp, Ph.D., research associate at the University of Ulster in Coleraine, Ireland. Most Americans, including many formula-fed infants and children, do not get enough Fructooliogosaccharides, said Cristina Munteanu, senior technical service technologist at Ingredion, Inc.
Other studies have demonstrated that the carbohydrate is linked to reducing the risk of colon tumour development, providing a protective immunity effect.
2013 Food Technologists (IFT) Annual Meeting.
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