That’s where natural, zero-calorie additives like GOFOS can play a major role in improving the health benefits of popular foodstuffs - including those not traditionally tagged as ‘healthy’, such as baked and sweet goods.
It is widely known that the majority of adults do not get the recommended daily amount of fibre in their diets, with a significant number falling well short. This can lead to a range of health issues including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol and diabetes. Although medical science now suggests that gut health may have a much wider influence on our well-being.
According to a recent study carried out across seven European countries, this message is getting through to consumers loud and clear. 80% of people who took part in the survey were aware that dietary fibre played an important role in intestinal transit, while 68% could identify the link between fibre and healthy gut microbiota.
A third (32%) also said buying healthy food was their top priority, comfortably beating taste (18%) and price (10%). In a separate study, more than half (53%) of people said they would be willing to pay more for products that were scientifically proven to carry health benefits. 60% also acknowledge that eating more fibre is the best way to improve their digestive health.
Yet despite these positive figures, it’s thought that fewer than one in five adults get the amount of fibre they need in their diets.
The issue is that purchasing and consumption habits are difficult to change. People might know that wholemeal bread is healthier than white. But those who have eaten white bread all their lives are reluctant to switch. What they would prefer is a white bread option that delivers a high fibre content. You could say they want to have their cake (or bread) and eat it.
That’s why fortification is such a big topic for the food industry, and for public health. By adding ingredients that improve the nutritional profiles of popular foods, you sidestep the tricky issue of trying to shift dietary habits.
GOFOS is particularly useful in this regard because of its sweet taste profile. Belonging to a family of carbohydrates known as fructo-oligosaccharides, GOFOS is a complex enough molecule to resist digestion (a defining feature of fibres) but still retains some of the sweetness of the fructose molecules that are its constituent parts.
Occurring naturally in plants such as sugar beet, wheat, onions, tomatoes and seaweed, fructo-oligosaccharides are roughly 50% as sweet as ordinary sugar, making them an ideal additive for baked goods, chocolates, desserts and snack bars. And in a double health benefit, GOFOS contains zero calories.
Through our partnership with manufacturer Galam, Norkem is a key part of the supply chain making GOFOS available in the UK. Please contact our food and drink sales team to find out more.