New Research Shows Digestive Health is Key to Wellbeing for European Consumers

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28 Apr 2016 --- New quantitative consumer research, commissioned by functional ingredients manufacturer BENEO, shows that consumers see digestive health as key to their health and wellbeing. The results also underline that breakfast is the prime time of day to provide digestive wellness solutions that meet the growing needs of today’s consumers.

More than 1,000 consumers in both the UK and Spain participated in an online survey, allowing BENEO to gain insights into the understanding, importance and relevance of digestive health to them. BENEO conducted online quantitative consumer research in the UK and Spain. The survey was carried out in 2015 by Insites, a consumer research agency with results weighted average among the two countries, unless otherwise specified.

The survey results show that consumers rate digestive health as extremely valuable, with the majority of respondents (UK 59%, Spain 81%) saying it is an important topic to them. Digestive health is particularly seen as a wellness issue amongst consumers. ‘Feeling good and contributing to overall health’ is ranked among the main reasons for why more than two thirds of consumers choose foods that support digestive health.

The results clearly show that digestive health appears to be intrinsically linked to today’s industry key trends of weight management and free from, with half of consumers (UK 45%, Spain 59%) choosing digestive health products to help them lose weight. Also more than two thirds (UK 73%, Spain 89%) of respondents with gluten/lactose limitations see digestive health as very important to them; this is significantly higher than the overall population.

Often termed ‘the most important meal of the day’, more than half of consumers (UK 58%, Spain 65%) say that breakfast is the key occasion to choose food and beverages that support digestive health. Applications such as breakfast cereals, yoghurt, fruit juices, cereal bars, bread and breakfast cookies are all regarded as appealing in this respect by consumers in both countries highlighting that there is an opportunity for digestive health-focused breakfast products moving forwards.

With ‘naturally functional’ cited as one of this year’s top 10 trends, it is no surprise that chicory root fiber is considered by many as the most natural sounding name for a soluble fiber. Almost half of all respondents (46%) agreed it sounds natural, with only 16% thinking that maltodextrin, dextrin and polydextrose sound natural. This rating reflects the production method used; inulin and oligofructose are obtained from chicory root via a gentle hot water extraction method, whilst some other fibers require a chemical process to synthesise the ingredient from glucose syrup.

Choosing ingredients such as BENEO’s chicory root fibers Orafti Inulin and Oligofructose, can help manufacturers to meet consumer demand for products that support digestive health. In addition they can be easily incorporated into a wide variety of applications, whilst maintaining the product’s superior taste and texture. A comprehensive body of high quality scientific studies (in excess of 150) also confirms the health benefits of the company’s chicory root fibers.

In fact, inulin and oligofructose from chicory root belong to the very few proven prebiotics. Additionally, BENEO has an exclusive health claim for its inulin in promoting digestive health. The authorised 13.5 EU health claim is: "chicory inulin contributes to normal bowel function by increasing stool frequency", which can be combined with general health-related, wellbeing claims under article 10.3, that include: "chicory inulin promotes digestive health" and "chicory root fiber supports a healthy and balanced digestive system".

Myriam Snaet, Manager Market Intelligence and Consumer Insights at BENEO comments: "Digestive health is of great interest to consumers. Our research results show that it is a wellness topic for consumers and they feel that it has direct impact on their overall health and wellbeing. With the exclusive health claim for BENEO’s chicory root fiber inulin, manufacturers can be ‘on trend’ by providing digestive health, naturally through new products".

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Beneo GmbH

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Beneo offers naturally-sourced, functional ingredients derived from the chicory root, sugar beet, rice, and wheat, adding nutritional, technical and health benefits.

Our portfolio offers an opportunity to create all-natural, non-GMO or organic products that are non-cariogenic, gluten and lactose-free, fiber-enriched, fat and sugar reduced, easily digested, energy sustaining and calorie smart, as well as supportive of fat oxidation – all without compromising taste, texture or mouthfeel. Our ingredients can be used in applications like dairy, confectionery, bakery, cereals, soups & sauces, meat & vegetables, baby food, and beverages.

Formed by a merger of the companies Orafti, Palatinit and Remy in 2007, Beneo is a 100 percent subsidiary of the Südzucker Group and has over 100 years experience with functional ingredients.

Through a unique chain of expertise, including Beneo-Institute and Beneo-Technology Center, the company supports customers throughout the entire product development process: ranging from new product ideas and concept development based on consumer insights and market research to nutritional science by providing regulatory advice and facilitating the formulation of successful products.

 

Functional fibres: Orafti® inulin and oligofructose are prebiotic fibers extracted from the chicory root. These fibers do not only promote optimal intestinal functioning but also act as prebiotics that promotes the growth of ‘good’ bacteria (Inulin: EFSA claim on prebiotic wellbeing available). Both ingredients allow for an EFSA claim on blood sugar management as they support a lower rise in blood glucose levels and a lower insulin response.  

Functional carbohydrates: Palatinose™ or isomaltulose is a low-glycaemic and fully-digestible carbohydrate derived from the chicory root. What is special in comparison to other carbohydrates is that it releases its full carbohydrate energy (4kcal/g) more slowly and in a more balanced way (EFSA claim available). It improves fat oxidation during physical activity, leading to a sustained energy supply. Being acid stable, the food maintains its osmolality – an advantage, especially in sports beverages. In addition, it is a non-cariogenic ingredient.

Functional protein: Beneo’s Vital Wheat Gluten is a source of essential amino acids which the body cannot produce itself. Apart from their nutritious benefits, they improve the taste and texture of bakery goods, ready-to-eat meals, meat-based products, etc. Consequently, the sustainable sources of BeneoPro VWG have been allocated the IFS label, an acknowledged reference for high-quality ingredients.

Specialty rice ingredients: Beneo’s natural and organic rice ingredients include flours, starches, bran, syrups, proteins and concentrates. They help you respond to the growing demand for clean label, organic, gluten-free and hypoallergenic products. In addition, they improve mouthfeel, texture, crispness, crunchiness, shelf-life, and color of products.

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