Anderson Advanced Ingredients’ sugar-reduction fiber trial showed safety for gastrointestinal tract
13 Jan 2023 --- Netherlands-based Anderson Advanced Ingredients unveils scientific findings on its product FiberSMART – a low glycemic non-GMO resistant dextrin with prebiotic properties available from tapioca or corn. A clinical trial conducted with Murdoch University Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovation Therapies showed that the product does not cause harm to the gastrointestinal tract, even at a doubled dose.
The company argues that most food producers replace sugar with polyols or dietary fibers, which may cause gastrointestinal issues, bloating or gas. FiberSMART has been on the market since 2015 and is recognized as a dietary fiber.
“Pulling sugar out of products is a focus for everyone in the food industry. But if you replace ingredients with something that causes gut distress, that bad experience may cause even your most loyal buyers to go elsewhere. We say ‘sugar reduction starts here’ for a reason. FiberSMART is easy to work with, often improving product consistency and production run times,” says John Jarmul, VP of marketing for Anderson Advanced Ingredients.
“Over the years, sugar content has increased as the food industry has raced to make the best-tasting products. Now with the new US Food and Drug Administration labeling rules on added sugars, consumers are better informed and able to choose products with less sugar. But they don’t want to give up the frequency of enjoying their favorite foods because of digestive issues. FiberSMART takes that concern off the table,” says Jarmul.
Exploring the gut
To verify FiberSMART being a “highly tolerable sugar replacement,” Anderson Advanced Ingredients collaborated with the Australian university to validate the product’s safety.
“Sugar reduction doesn’t have to equate to simply eating less,” the company underscores.
Timothy Fairchild, leader of the study, says that when they started investigating carbohydrate alternatives to simple sugars, FiberSMART Tapioca fiber seemed like a compelling solution. However, no data had yet supported the assumed tolerability.
“We had assumed the higher doses would cause concerns, particularly given the doses were consumed in a single liquid serving when dissolved in apple juice. But study participants reported only mild or no symptoms at all. The tapioca fiber was well tolerated by participants and far exceeded our expectations,” Fairchild notes.
The company highlights that the study results show that FiberSMART is well tolerated in healthy adults and that doubling the recommended daily intake is still safe for the body.
Healthy stayed healthy
The trial lasted three months and included 40 healthy adults aged 18 to 75. They were randomly allocated to a control or intervention group, given an escalating dose of FiberSMART starting at 10 g, then increased to 30 g and ending at 50 g.
The participants consumed the dose added to apple juice for seven days, and between dosage increases, there was a 21-day “wash-out period.”
“We were surprised to find that gastrointestinal symptoms did not appear to increase across escalating doses as compared to the placebo group,” Jarmul notes.
As a secondary measure, the researchers also looked at weight changes, body mass index, waist and hip circumference, waist-to-height ratio, heart rate and blood pressure. The only significant difference observed at the end of the trial was resting heart rate.
“While no direct health improvements were noted in this short-term intervention in healthy individuals, longer-term studies with clinical populations may reveal direct health benefits,” the study concludes.
“We recognize that some of the ingredients you’re replacing are there for specific reasons. Perhaps they’re used to overcome functional challenges,” Jarmul adds.
Edited by Beatrice Wihlander
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