Fibre fortification

Ulrick & Short's take on functional fibres

In recent months, fibre has come under the spotlight for consumers and retailers alike.

Increasing demand for healthier formulations, coupled with new evidence that fibre has “protective effects” in reducing the chances of cardiovascular disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes, has led to a boom in manufacturer activity.

Front of pack fibre claims have likewise increased exponentially; in the UK bakery sector alone, “source of/high in fibre” claims have grown by 240% between 2013 and 2017.

Fibres are extremely versatile ingredients; they provide a range of functional properties for a variety of applications.

For instance Ulrick & Short’s scilia fibres can improve texture or volume in breads, cakes and muffins, help with mouthfeel and texture in soups and sauces, and act as texture improvers or yield enhancers in reformed and comminuted meats.

Specifically for gluten free bakery applications, the scilia range also improves the shelf-life as they slow down the rate of retrogradation and, therefore, staling of the starch.

Ulrick & Short’s range of scilia insoluble fibres offer manufacturers a way of both improving functional properties while making front of pack fibre claims.

With a simple clean label declaration, and derived from a wide range of base crops wheat, bamboo, pea and oat, the range offers a wide range of functionalities and textures, across a range of sectors, including bakery, meats, beverages, and sauces and soups.

Ulrick & Short R&D Manager, Danni Schroeter, said: “A few years ago, fibre claims were restricted to specialised bakery, sports nutrition and performance foods. However, as consumers have become more health conscious and the benefits of fibre have become more publicised, fibre fortification has become increasingly compelling to manufacturers and these claims have exploded in multiple sectors.”

Schroeter added: “There has been a consumer shift in the last 2 years. Now, healthy foods are just as much about what manufacturers actively add to their products to improve nutritionals as it is about the removal of sugars, fats and salt.”

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