With the right functional ingredients, food manufacturers today can create products with less fat and sugar while maintaining taste and texture, Beneo’s area sales manager Soh Bee Bee shared recently at Fi Asia 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand.
She says these benefits are of growing importance as the results from a recently conducted consumer survey in Asia confirm that more than half of the respondents want to consume less fat and sugar.
However, many find it difficult to switch to healthier food options as they would have to accept poorer taste and/or texture.
Estimates from the World Health Organization suggest that obesity has been climbing fast in Asia, leading to a higher risk of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Consumers in Asia are becoming more aware of the health risks associated with consuming too much fat and sugar, said Soh.
She said three in four people in Asia generally think about the healthfulness of their diet; and pay much attention to the amount of calories, fat and sugar of a food product.
“Food and drink products that are designed to help consumers to maintain a healthy weight must have a balanced nutritional profile. At the same time, they need to also convey palatable taste and texture,” said Soh.
On Beneo’s sugar replacer, Isomalt she shared that it is the only sugar replacer derived from beet sugar.
It has a sugar-like sweet taste, while containing 2 kcal/g and is very low glycemic.
As such, Isomalt allows manufacturers to reduce the calories from sugar and lower the blood glucose response of their products, yet maintaining the same sweetness profile.
On the company’s rice starch and chicory root fiber, inulin, she said both products are ideal fat replacers as they provide the creamy and fat-like mouthfeel consumers are seeking when enjoying ‘indulgent’ products such as yoghurt, ice cream and cream cheese.
At the same time, they help to significantly reduce a food product’s total fat and calorie count.
The addition of chicory root fiber also helps to boost the fiber content of the product.
Finally, she shared the next generation sugar Palatinose (isomaltulose) is a fully available but slowly released sugar derived from beet sugar.
It supplies the body with fully available energy in a more balanced and sustained way as compared to common sugars.
Palatinose enhances fat oxidation in energy metabolism, potentially providing benefits for glucose control, body composition and weight management.